|The protesting youths|
Youths from Bayside Community in Calabar South Local Government Area have accused the Managing Director, Tourism Bureau, Utsu John of diversion of revenues generated from the state owned tourism site into private pockets. The youths also accused him of negligence and mismanagement of the resort.
The resort which was built and commissioned for public use during the administration of former governor Donald Duke for many years served as an important tourism site for residents and visitors to Calabar. The story is however not the same today as the facility has become a ghost of its former self with many of the facilities broken down.
Some leaders of Bayside Community which hosts the resort said the current sorry state of the resort is as a result of poor management by Managing Director of the State Tourism Bureau headed by Mr. Atsu John Utsu.
“Nothing is working again at the resort, John Atsu is the one who collects all the monies generated from this resort from the gate fees to the monies paid by vendors. Some vendors pay as much as one hundred and fifty thousand naira every month. He comes here and collect the monies by hand, no money is paid into government account.
“As we speak the club house, hotel, Cinema, are not working, everything is grounded. Last December he collected over 4million naira and traveled out. Monies collected at the resort is not injected into the resort how can the place function?” One of the protesting youths queried.
The youths alleged that the MD has the habit of travelling overseas once he has collected monies from the resort only to resurface when it is time for fresh payments. They called on the governor to relieve Mr. Utsu of the management of the resort and hand it over to the community to restore the dignify of the facility.
It would be recalled that during the #EndSars protest, the resort was about the only facility that was not vandalized. This according to the youths was as a result of the ownership mentality the youths employed to protect the facility.
Eric Anderson, the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism denied having knowledge of the allegations when contacted. Mr. Anderson said he only plays supervisory role at the resort as the Tourism Bureau MD does not report to his ministry.
Efforts to reach Mr. Utsu for comment proved abortive as his number did not go through as of the time of filing this report.