Investing in Cross River State
Cross River State is one of the southern states of the federation of Nigeria. It is bounded in the North by Benue State, on the east by the Republic of Cameroon and on the west by
Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Abia States. The state has a population of about 2 million people with a land mass of over 23,000 square kilometres.
Cross River State falls within the Tropical
Zone, except for Obudu Plateau, which is sub-temperate,
being 1,575.76 metres (5,200 feet) above sea level.
From the vegetational zones of this area, the State
falls within the mangrove swamp forest in the south,
stretching through the deciduous and Savannah regions.
As the name implies, Cross River State has all bodies of water, the spring, the stream, ponds, lakes, creeks, rivers and the ocean (the Atlantic). The climate of the
State is mainly influenced by the rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season is often between May and October, whereas the dry season sets in November and terminates in April.
Rainfalls are often very severe along the coastal areas of the State with an average of 35cm3. This amount of rainfall decreases in the hinterland towards the
Northern areas of the State, comprising of Ikom and Obudu. There is no doubt that Cross River State is blessed with abundant human and material resources. The abundant natural resources
of the State is yearning for development and efficient utilization.
THE RESOURCES OF CROSS RIVER STATE
Agriculture is considered the main stay of the State's economy. It absorbs a large percentage of the labour force and contributes greatly to the gross domestic product of the State.
A large portion of the mass of the State is arable with a significant portion under-utilized.
The major tree crops of the State include oil palm, cocoa, rubber, kola nut while staple foods include cassava, yam, coco-yam, plantain, banana, groundnut, maize, fruit
and assorted vegetables. Other items come from livestock, fishery and forestry. A bulk of the food produced come from small-scale farmers. Part of this is consumed locally while the
remaining part is exported either to other states or outside the country.
Since most of these items are perishable crops, there is an urgent
need for investors to utilize these opportunities and
invest in areas like cold storage and preservation,
processing into industrial intermediate or final products.
Our raw material potentials are numerous and must not
be left under-utilized.
The State is richly blessed with mineral resources which
include limestone, clay, salt, tin, granite, basalt,
quartzite, kaolin, sand and feldspar. There are so many
other mineral substances of high value under investigation
by geologists in the State. These include lead, zinc
ore, manganese, gold, uranium, titan, mica and gypsum.
Extensive work is being carried out by the State's Trade
and Investment Department to find out the economic viability
of the mineral deposit.
The enormous mineral and agricultural resources in the State pose great challenges to both indigenous and foreign investors. In spite of the rich mineral endowments, mining
activities have been restricted only to limestone. Investors should avail themselves of these opportunities and invest in Cross River State.
INVESTMENT OPTIONS IN CROSS RIVER STATE
The Mfamosing Limestone formation, with 98% Calcium Carbonate, has one of the best qualities of limestone formation in the world. Cement manufacturing is a golden investment in this area.
CATTLE RANCHING AT THE OBUDU CATTLE RANCH
The Obudu Cattle Ranch is located atop the Obudu
Cattle Ranch Plateau at an altitude of 1,575 metres
above sea level. The altitude gives the ranch a
unique temperate climate and vegetation with temperature
ranging between 7° C - 15° C all year round.
The height ensures that the ranch is free from tse-tse
fly and mosquitoes.
The Ranch is a perfectly grazing site, suitable for cattle rearing and animal husbandry generally. The Ranch has 18,000 hectares of prime grazing land available for cattle ranching.
Presently, the Cross River State Government intends to let out this grazing land for the establishment of cattle ranches.
BOTTLING SPRING WATER
The Obudu Cattle Ranch constitutes a sophisticated drainage system with springs having source from the rocky depths of the ranch plateau. The Ranch springs are pure and free from pollutants. Several
feasibility reports have been carried out which show that bottling spring water on the Ranch is a good investment. In 1996 a French company had completed arrangement to commence the project but was
compelled to pull out due to the political crises then in the country. The State is disposed to facilitating investment in this area.
OBUDU CATTLE RANCH HOTEL
The Obudu Cattle Ranch Hotel has just been renovated and a number of chalets increased to 57 from 33. The entire facilities have been given a face-lift and the electricity and water supply restored.
Existing games facilities at the Ranch presently include lawn tennis, table tennis, squash and mimi-golf. The Ranch environment is additionally conducive for jogging and high altitude training generally.
Horses are currently being retrained so that horse riding can be re-introduced. Presently, plans are being concluded to do a 9-hole golf course on the Ranch to be linked to international tournaments.
The Ranch is also a rich nature reserve with a bird and nature watch located within the Becheve Nature Reserve. The Gorilla Camp is located about 4 hours walking distance from the
Ranch Hotel. The Ranch is rich in exotic butterflies, birds, monkeys and other animals already extinct in most parts of the world.
Recently a 1.5 kilometre airstrip was completed at Bebie in Obanliku Local Government Area which can take light planes. This facility makes it possible for visitors to the Ranch to
reduce travelling time to less than two hours from any point from within the country.
The Ranch Hotel is available to interested investors willing to enter into joint venture with the State for the management of this outfit.
MEAT PROCESSING FACTORY
A Meat Processing Factory has been built at the Ranch to process and package meat for sale. This factory is available for acquisition by investors. The State intends to divest her equity shareholding
here to the private sector.
DURAFOAM FACTORY, IKOM
Durafoam Industries Limited is a State government company with a foam manufacturing factory in Ikom. The factory machinery is still in a good state for production of foam mattresses and allied products.
The State is willing to divest her equity shareholding in the company to private investors. This outfit certainly presents you a good opportunity for investment.
Cross River State is the highest cassava producing state in the country with an annual output of 3 million tons. Because of low utilization, only half of this crop is harvested or utilized. We do know
however that cassava is a rich animal feed and in high demand in Europe. Palletized cassava for export is a good investment option in Cross River especially with abundant raw material and a seaport.
PALM OIL MILLING
Cross River State is at the forefront in palm oil fruit production in the country due to the several plantations that abound. The milling of these fruits is however crude resulting in very low palm oil
extraction rates. The erection of a modern facility, an integrated palm processing mill would ensure high extraction rate. Such an investment should include a palm kernel oil processing mill, which
would crush palm kernel and extract the oil for processing to edible oil. The resultant palm kernel cake is an export product being an animal feed.
Cross River State is rich in its solid minerals, which are presently largely unexploited. Of note are limestone, barytes, salt, clay, etc. Exploration of these minerals is a worthwhile investment. The salt
deposits of Yala LGA are of a high quality and exist in commercial quantities capable of sustaining a salt processing factory. Considering that the country depends on imported salt for her needs,
investment in the processing of these deposits would be a profitable venture.
The State harbours the last fringes of the natural forest in the country. Presently we have a policy of sustainable exploitation of forest resources especially wood in manner that would retain the ecological balance.
Wood processing for export or for production of furniture is an investment that should be exploited.
The State is a high producer of rubber. Presently there is no rubber processing factory within the State. Investment in such a factory would open a frontier of opportunities.
PAPER AND NEWSPRINT MANUFACTURING
Cross River State has over 12,000 hectares of Gmelina
plantation. This softwood is a major raw material
for the production of paper and newsprint material.
Presently the country depends largely on import
for her paper and newsprint needs. Thus investment
in a paper and newsprint manufacturing venture in
the State is a very profitable venture, as there
is in existence an abundance of both raw material
and market for the products.
Cross River State is the second largest producer
of cocoa in Nigeria, producing 20% of the country's
annual output. The absence of a cocoa processing
factory in the State has made export of the raw
beans imperative. A cocoa processing plant in the
State would add substantial value and is a viable
and highly profitable investment option in the State.
The presence of a seaport, an international airport
and the Export Processing Zone makes the processing
of cocoa for export a good business option.
Cross River State is located in the crude oil rich
Niger Delta area of southern Nigeria. Oil drilling
is carried out in the southern tip of the State
and within Nigeria's territorial waters bounding
Cross River State. This facility serves the states
in the easter and north eastern parts of Nigeria.
The location of an export refinery
within the State, especially in the Calabar area
would prove to be a good business option for any
investor. The high domestic demand for petroleum
products of such a refinery considering that none
of the refineries in the country today is operating
up to half of the installed capacity due to poor
Cross River State with many rivers, and bordered
by the Atlantic Ocean has great potential for marine
fishing. The Bakassi peninsula offers a variety
of fishes, shrimps, crayfish, oysters, etc., which
can be harvested, processed and exported.