It was a very small and brief ceremony which, however, meant so much to the Anambra State Government. In these days of lean resources, any project that promises to generate as much as N375 million monthly gets the attention of any forward-looking governor. It was not a surprise then that Governor Willie Obiano insisted on receiving the team from Global Gaming Company Limited led by its Chairman, Yahaya Maikori at the Governor’s Lodge in Awka.

Officials of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), the arm of the state government which facilitated the signing of an MoU for the establishment of a state lottery and structured gaming operations in the state were also present. Also present were the Secretary to the State Government and the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General and his counterpart in the Information, Culture and Tourism Ministry.

The traditional ruler of Umuoji and Chairman of ANSIPPA, Igwe Cyril Enweze said he was happy with the arrangement which will introduce scratch card and other types of gaming into the state. Beaming with smiles, he told Obiano that the partnership with Global Gaming would satisfy the internal revenue objectives of the state.

He said, “we have agreed on a sharing formula that guarantees 34 per cent to winners, 15 per cent to the state government, two per cent will be jointly managed, while the rest goes to Global Gaming.” The deal is for an initial period of 10 years which is renewable for five years.

Explaining why his company is taking a huge share, Maikori said the scheme will be entirely funded by Global Gaming through its technical partners, Grupo Pefaco, which is committing full funding for the initial take off with $11 million. He expressed confidence that his company would make enough from ticket sales and other sources to keep to the terms of paying N375 million to the state government after the first seven months.

Describing gaming as a veritable tool for economic development, Maikori said while taxation is compulsory revenue for government, through gaming, the people are made to pay voluntary tax, while expecting dividends. According to him Grupo Pefaco is listed in the Spanish Stock Exchange and already has its presence in seven African countries. While emphasising on the company’s CSR goals, he assured existing gaming companies that they do not need to worry about being taken out of the market.

Commencement of gaming entertainment in Anambra is expected to create 500 direct jobs and 2,000 other related avenues of employment, apart from providing training and expertise to the people in that industry and raising the tourism profile of the state as well. Global Gaming is known to have established similar projects for the Cross River and Lagos State governments.

Congratulating Global Gaming for winning the keenly contested bid, Obiano urged the company to raise the expected income to N400 million monthly. He said a couple of state-of-the-art hotels including the ones in Onitsha will be unveiled soon along with a shopping mall. According to him, these facilities will stabilise the entertainment gaming industry in the state.

DLM Kicks off Investment Literacy Initiative with Next of Kin
In the first series of its investment literacy initiative, Dunn Loren Merrifield Management & Research Company sponsored a stage play ‘Next of Kin’. The riveting tale which was part of the recently held Lagos Theatre Festival tells a story of how a young woman grappled with the loss of her father and the confrontations of managing his assets against family oppositions.

The one-woman act produced by Eniola Shitta revolves round Fehintola and her expectations and musings on life. The most apparent question asked as she takes her audience through a series of phone conversations borders on after-life and how much we know our loved ones.
The audience at the makeshift hall in British Council Lagos office was compelled to rethink on whose hands they entrust their wealth as Uche Elumelu who played the act, meandered through the hall, laughing one minute, sobbing the next while constantly interrupted by phone calls as she pondered on her relationship with her father in the past 30 years.

The answers she sought for in his office where she had come to pack his assets came in stages. From the secrecy of his illness to the almost toxic relationship he had with his aunt, Elumelu dazzled with her character.
The multi-themed plot addressed both cultural and social issues without ignoring the emotional grief that comes with such loss. Perhaps, this was where Shitta struck gold. Next of Kin in all its frankness took the spotlight from the widow and focused it instead on a relative.

However, Elumelu’s emotional appeal was its mascot. For instance, when she was confounded by her father’s seemingly generosity to non-members of his family, the audience reasoned with her. When she was shocked to find out that her father sought guilty pleasures in x-rated movies, the reaction was shock mixed with humour. And by the time she was physically and emotionally drained by the tragedy and resultant quandary, seeking for a shoulder to cry on or one last dance with her father, the audience gladly indulged her. They also revelled with her in her joyous moments when she sang and danced to her father’s music collection.

Highlighting the firm’s interest with the play the Managing Director of the company, Tola Odukoya affirms that “supporting creative talents and significantly contributing to public awareness using the performing arts further drive the company’s commitment to positively impact on the lives and communities in which we remain connected.

“As custodian of wealth and asset management, building a formidable investment portfolio for the present and future is at the core of service provided by the firm. We owe the people a responsibility to educate and appropriately inform them.”
Odukoya also noted that guiding clients in making the right investment decisions come as serving benefits when adopting several products operated by the firm, including the High Interest Investment Plan (HIIP) among other client friendly investment products.
The play was DLM’s way of promoting better understanding and appreciation of investment planning.

Ground-breaking at La Campagne Tropicana Koton Karfi
The ground breaking ceremony of La Campagne Tropicana River Resort Koton Karfi in Kogi State was recently held at the resort’s site amidst colourful celebration and feasting by the people of Koton Karfi and others in attendance at the event.

Koton Karfi brings to life the dream of Otunba Wanle Akinboboye to build African themed resorts outside its traditional Lekki home.
The new resort covers 89.7 hectares with the River Niger forming a lake across the land. Interestingly, just like the Lekki resort, which has the Atlantic Ocean and the lagoon with the mangrove swamp and stretch of forested land harbouring some animal habitats, the Koton Karfi resort also comes with its complete blend of natural elements such as the lake and forest area, which hopefully would make the resort a distinctive natural hideaway as well.
Akinboboye, described the new venture as a new dawn and celebration of industry and successes that have been achieved in the 30 years of the existence of La Campagne in Lekki, and that he hopes to replicate the same in Koton Karfi and even surpass it.

An elated Emir of Koton Karfi, Alhaji Gambo Abdulrazak Isa-Koto, rose in commendation of Akinboboye whom he described as a visionary and dedicated advocate of African culture. He assured him of the corporation and commitment of the palace and his people towards the successful delivery of the project as planned.
He urged the people to fully embrace the resort because it is for the benefit of the people and the community. He also charged them to ensure that they improve on themselves and their skills, talents, cultural and economic products so as to be of service to the project and benefit from it.

Ebedoz Hits Music Scene with Omela Omela
Another act of international repute, Ebedoz, has arrived on the Nigerian music scene with the strong intent to take the renowned creativity of Nigerian music to the next level.
Ebedoz is a young and immensely talented Nigerian- Canadian cross-genre artiste. Ebedoz, who is as unique as the sound of his name, is reportedly on a musical mission and has decided to storm the music world, particularly, Nigeria, his homeland and rightly so, with his latest single aptly titled ‘ Omela Omela’.

The song, which literally means ‘He has done it’ in his native Igbo dialect, exemplifies his musical versatility. And for music lovers and even the connoisseurs, the song throws you into a celestial mood, as well as the urge to shuffle your feet and do a refrain of the infectious song.

Lyrically simple and yet melodious, Omela Omela, is bound for the charts, just as other phat joints from him such as ‘Gangsta Soldier, Baby Mama and Escape’ and other hits featured on films and TV shows including the famous ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’, as well as ruling the airwaves in Canada and the Americas.
Described as an out of the box thinker, musician and composer, Ebedoz has a style that has also been called Afro-centric futuristic urban pop.

Interestingly, he is on this musical mission with his team of experienced and astute management outfit, U-Turn Entertainment company.

Evergreen Honours African Music Legends
Last of the Originals, an initiative of the Evergreen Musical Company Limited, to celebrate the hard work of long serving Nigerian musical legends is set to commence with its first edition.
Evergreen has been at the forefront of promoting and preserving the works of Nigerian music legends who have paid their dues in helping to set a pedestal for the budding new generation artists.

According to Bimbo Esho, Managing Director of Evergreen and daughter of Mr. Femi Esho, highlife music aficionado who has supported preservation of the works of Nigerian musicians for more than 12 years now, her vibrant team and herself are set out to immortalise the legends and help build great enthusiasm for our declining musical heritage.
The maiden edition of Last of the Originals which is planned to take in May is a celebration of a juju highlife king, Dele Ojo born in 1940 and a native of Ilara Mokin in Ondo State. Ojo is one of the few uncelebrated music icons of our time.
An exciting part of the programme will have young and vibrant artistes perform the songs of this musical maestro, while he relieves the old style of Lagos music.

Kunle Afolayan CEO Dazzles
Fifteen directors of Air France/KLM recently flew into Amsterdam from different parts of Africa for a conference with Nigerian filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, whose latest film, The CEO is supported by Air France and Dutch partner, KLM.
“We discussed film and the possibilities of taking African cinema to the next level. They wanted to know how I’ve been able to sustain ground-breaking projects and see the possibility of adopting this in other African countries,” he told newsmen upon arrival at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos. “I also unveiled our plans for the premiere of The CEO across Africa which they found laudable,” he said.
Afolayan is a brand ambassador of Air France, with the deal covering The CEO movie and several projects of mutual benefits.

“I didn’t need to speak too much about the creative ingenuity in Africa. As part of my presentation at the meeting, I showed a preview of The CEO and they were quite impressed. In all, we had a two-hour talk about the many untapped potentials in the African market,” he disclosed.
The recent release of the trailer for The CEO, kicked off promotions for the Pan-African movie which stars top actors from Anglophone and Francophone countries, including Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, entertainer and activist from Benin, Angélique Kidjo; Haitian actor and model Jimmy Jean-Louis; consummate actor and founder of the New Nigeria Cinema movement, Wale Ojo; French-Ivorian actress and model, Aurelie Eliam; South African actor and presenter, Nicolaos Panagiotopoulos; Nigerian actress, Kemi Lala Akindoju; Moroccan star, Fatim Layachi; Kenyan actor Peter King, and Nigerian actress Hilda Dokubo, among others. The CEO is expected in the cinemas in July.

Edgar Brings AliBaba to the MUSON
Loud Whispers, a compilation of Edgar’s interesting articles by investment banker, Joseph Edgar and published in his THISDAY Newspapers column has been adapted as a series of monologues for stage performance that will feature famous comedian, Ali Baba at the MUSON on May 1.

The Book is a light hearted look at Nigeria and Nigerians which have elicited so much laughter and attention through its acerbic but comical banter on very topical issues.
The play will be directed by Award winning Stage Director Kenneth Ukpoho fresh from the British Council Theatre Festival where he was the festival Director and oversaw the staging of a series of plays over a five-day period.

Through a mixture of dance and song, Alibaba in various scenes would address current issues, throwing light jabs at political and social actors, give advice and pass commentaries while entertaining and holding the crowd spell bound.

It promises to be an exciting outing as theatre lovers would have the unique opportunity to watch Alibaba in a genre crossing role delivering tongue in cheek quotes and massively entertaining the crowd in ways we have come to regard and respect him for.
The play is being produced by versatile media man Olisa Adibua, Shina Peller of Quilox and Mofoluwake Edgar.