The Calabar International Convention Center (CICC) will be located in the mixed-use Summit Hills development in Cross River State. The new facility will be able to accommodate events such as international congresses, corporate conventions and government retreats, doubling as exhibition space when necessary. The CICC has the capacity to host 2,000 delegates in a single auditorium and 5,000 in 21 different venues. Other facilities include an Internet café, a business centre and VIP areas among others. It could offer Calabar a new cultural centre that will provide the setting for concerts, film festivals and exhibitions with stunning views of the Delta.
Additionally, the centre is located in a free trade zone (FTZ) where exhibitors and conference organisers are exempt from paying Value Added Tax, Withholding Tax and other national and state levied taxes on transactions. The development is part of the 367-hectare Summit Hills mixed-use development, just north of the city of Calabar, which will include a 300-room business hotel, an international hospital, an 18-hole golf course and a residential development.
Much of the regulatory framework for Nigeria free trades zones is a grey area. Tinapa, another massive mixed-use project in the region has performed very poorly as a result. To a large extent, the viability of the entire project can be put into question, when the performance of Tinapa is in perspective.
Nonetheless, during a small celebration on site to congratulate the project team on achieving this significant milestone, the Governor of Cross River State Sen Liyel Imoke promised that the convention centre would be a catalyst for economic growth in the state, attracting tens of thousands of delegates from all over Nigeria and the world.
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