Top Abuja investor, Chief Obiora Okonkwo, has major interests in different sectors. But many simply know him as the man behind The Dome Entertainment Center Abuja.
Okonkwo, who holds a PhD in Economics from the Russian Academy of Science, is an apostle of economic diversification and this led to his being one of the early investors in the entertainment and tourism industry in the capital city.
But the Anambra-born businessman, who chairs the Nigerian-Belgium Business Forum, has had to operate The Dome skeletally since 2012 and it remained that way until late 2015.
However, a recent visit to The Dome Entertainment Centre showed that 2016 will be the year that the one-stop leisure destination will come back to life fully.
The Dome, which is still located beside the World Trade Centre in Abuja’s plush Central Business District, now comprises the Summit Restaurant, Octagon Lounge, the Wesley Snipes and Eagle VIP Rooms, the Camelot Spa, the Body Trust Gym, the popular Dome Bowling Alley, the Capital Bar, Bridges Garden Bar and a newly introduced boutique hotel.
It, therefore, wasn’t much of a surprise when Okonkwo confirmed the talk in town that millions of naira has been invested into repositioning the center that once hosted major events in Abuja.
The Dome boss declined giving a figure, but, investigations revealed that though work is still in progress, not less than N200 million was budgeted for the current facelift being given the entertainment centre. All things being equal, events will return, full swing, at the centre in July.
According to sources, this much was being re-invested into a tourism/entertainment business due to SWOT analysis conducted by the management of The Dome and Okonkwo’s long held belief that entertainment and tourism is a sure route to economic diversification. “I believe that by investing heavily in entertainment, I heeded the call by government for people to open up new economic frontiers that will better position the country. I know that we are pioneers in The Dome. Before we came on board nobody had invested huge amounts into all-purpose entertainment and recreation center like we did. I have no regrets that we invested heavily because just like when I started, I believe that Nigeria needs world class recreation centers, like we have in other parts of the world,” Okonkwo said.