Nigeria’s Acting President today commissioned The Calabar monorail breathing new life into the Tinapa resort. He was joined by his host Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade and several dignitaries. The monorail is designed to commute tourists between the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort, a hospitality hub, and Calabar International Convention Centre a multipurpose facility which sits 5,000 people .
The 12-car monorail system, uses an Intamin P8 electric powered passenger shuttle train to convey passengers from Tinapa Resort, across Lake Tinapa to Calabar International Conference Centre (CICC). The light rail project has three stations, Tinapa, Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and the Calabar International Conference Centre. The monorail also allows access to Studio Tinapa, Tinapa Shopping Centre and Tinapa waterpark as well as provide a quick alternative access to Summit Hills.
Built by Ponet TFZE, the train with a cruising speed of about 40 kilometres per hour, has 12 cars, including 10 passengers and two equipment cars. Each car is primed for seven to eight passengers all seated, while the train’s length, width and height are approximately 38, 1.95 and 2.2 metres, respectively. The electricity-powered air-conditioned train with 1.62 metres height approximately in its passenger compartment, is designed to provide a 24-hour service.
The project, believed to be the first of the monorail projects to come to completion in Nigeria, bears the stamp of three successive administrations. Conceived by the Duke administration as part of the Tinapa project, it was executed in part by the Imoke administration, and finished by the incumbent Governor Ben Ayade.
The other monorail projects both of which dwarf the Calabar monorail in scope; the Rivers State monorail project which is reportedly designed to carry passengers around Port Harcourt City is much bigger, the Lagos State Light rail project which is the largest of them all and the Abuja Light rail.
Notwithstanding the scope, the significance of the vision of the successive governors of Cross Rivers state in setting the pace cannot be overemphasized. First it was the longest cable car in Africa, then the longest canopy walkway and now the first monorail in sub-Sahara Africa.
With its futuristic film studios, luxury shops, etc ailing Tinapa which has been described as Nigeria’s 450 million dollar white elephant, stands as the major beneficiary of the commissioning of the Calabar monorail. All eyes are now on the management of Tinapa to make the resort a showcase of Nigerian dynamism and a commercial hub for West Africa raking in millions in tourist hard currency.