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Investing in Cross River State

BACKGROUND
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.

MINERAL RESOURCES
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

  1. CEMENT MANUFACTURING
    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. CASSAVA PROCESSING
    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.

  8. 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.

  9. SOLID MINERAL
    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.

  10. WOOD PROCESSING
    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.

  11. RUBBER PROCESSING
    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.

  12. 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.

  13. COCOA PROCESSING
    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.

  14. PETROLEUM RFINERY
    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 management.

  15. MARINE FISHING
    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.