The capital city of Cross River, Calabar, is wearing a new look ahead of the commencement of the 2023 edition of the Annual Calabar Carnival scheduled to begin on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in a bid to ensure seamless movement, the state government is putting finishing touches to the rehabilitation of major streets and roads in the city.
While drainage system across Calabar Municipality are being desilted, waste managers are also working round the clock to rid the streets and roads of wastes.
The lawn on major roads and streets, especially in the carnival routes, have received the attention of the landscapers.
The aesthetics of Calabar have been further enhanced with the reactivation of street lights on major roads and streets across the municipality.
The government is also matching word with action to organise the best carnival since its inception in 2004 by carrying out rehabilitation of junctions in the city.
While the junctions have been adorned with lightning and Christmas decorations, the foremost Millennium Park has been transformed to signpost the commencement of the carnival.
The decorated junctions include Eleven Eleven, Mary Slessor, Calabar Calabar, Effiete and Etta Agbor
Mr Austine Cobham, Executive Secretary of the state’s Carnival Commission, had recently disclosed plans to make the 2023 edition of the festival the best organised in history.
Cobham had disclosed that four countries, South Africa, Brazil, Turkey and Egypt would participate in the carnival.
He further said that 26 states of the federation had also indicated interest to be part of the annual carnival.
He assured that adequate arrangements had been put in place to ensure security of lives and property before, during and after the festival.
He said that the impact of the 32-day carnival would be felt across the states and not just Calabar, the capital city alone.
“We are working to ensure that this year’s edition will be a record setting in comparison to previous editions held since 2004.
“While we are introducing new events for the carnival, we are also reintroducing some aspects of the carnival that had been stopped. For instance, the children carnival is coming back after 10 years.
“Again, concentration will not just be in Calabar alone, central and northern parts of the state will also be made to feel the carnival.
“Just like we are lighting up major roads and streets in Calabar for the festival, same will be done in central and northern parts of the state,” he stated.
NAN also reports that as part of the plans to ensure seamless movement in and out Calabar, the state government had on Tuesday inaugurated additional aircrafts to boost the fleet of the state-owned airline, Cally Air.
The Governor, Sen. Bassey Otu, had said the Boeing 737, with the previous plane, would from Thursday be flying from Abuja and Lagos to Calabar during the 32-day carnival.
The annual carnival, which started in 2004, has taken place every year, except in 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID-19 lock down. (NAN)