Experts Urge FG to Leverage Gaming, E-sports Industry to Attract Foreign Investments

Ugo Aliogo

The Chief Executive Officer, Game Evolution Technologies, Solakunmi Adenipebi, has advised the federal government to leverage the gaming and e-Sports industry to attract direct foreign investments to Nigeria.

He gave the advice during the Omniverse Gaming Tournament Prize Giving Ceremony in Lagos.

Adenipebi, who noted that the nation needed to diversify from petroleum as a source of earnings, said that the gaming industry should be looked into by the federal government,

 “Gaming is one of the biggest entertainment projects that should be leveraged by the government so that they can bring in international countries to invest in Nigeria,” Adenipebi said.

He affirmed that since Nigeria has over 40 million youths who go into gaming now because of the advent of mobile phones, it is easier to have mobile gaming because mobile phones are easily accessible, which makes it easier for mobile e-sports to thrive in Nigeria.

“That is a very big way to allow international companies to come and invest in Nigeria because the population of youths playing video games in E-Sports is huge,” he stated.

The event brought together 37 professional gamers who emerged winners and received cheques of five million Naira as rewards.

Adenipebi said: “We had an e-sports tournament that held five different games. So we had a prize of N5 million, which was distributed for the different professional gamers and which is why we are here today to present the cheques to the winners.

“The 37 contestants were chosen through online registration, which was made open to everybody in Nigeria. So, we had gamers come all over from all over different states in Nigeria to compete at a centre. We went through different qualifications before we got to the finals.”

Speaking on the future of gaming in Nigeria, the Game Evolution Technologies CEO remarked that gaming is one of the biggest entertainment and sports industries in the world right now.

He further explained that Nigeria was picking up very fast, as it been seen in terms of growth between 2019 and 2024, adding that over 1 million gamers had popped up from mobile gaming, which is actually now the biggest gaming industry in Nigeria.

Continuing, he added: “The future of e-Sports in Nigeria is huge as private industries are investing in e-Sports tournaments, e-Sports teams and they’re also creating e-Sports coaching projects right now.

“So, we see a very huge career for the next generation of Nigerian youths in the e-Sports industry. The government to include gaming in the school curriculum to support the next generation.”

Co-Convener for the Omniverse Africa, Charles Emembolu, while corroborating Adenipebi on gaming and income earning, revealed that presently, there are about 40 plus per cent in unemployment rate, adding that anything that can contribute to job creation is a welcomed development.

According to him: “People eventually are going to be earning from foreign direct investments as they play. Imagine a situation where as they earn money and they create jobs, the government benefits from this and can get taxes from people that are working from the games themselves.

“ But more importantly, there will be inflow of foreign exchange, because if somebody from Ghana plays, he buys token, he buys it in Dollars and that is income for the country.

“We had a successful summit in February where we brought together about 20,000 people for over four days. As part of that event, we had the gaming tournaments, which brought seven different categories of thousands of people across the country. But today, we are celebrating the winners of those categories.

“That was they had elimination at different levels, all the way down to the different winners we saw across the categories today. And today, we have 37 winners across those different categories. Some didn’t make it physically because they’re not necessarily in Lagos, but they will all get their prizes and prize money.

“But we saw a five million Naira worth of prizes given out today and that’s why we are here to celebrate, appreciate and encourage those that are into this gaming sector. Because it’s also a profession, and it’s the skill and those skills are also rewarded. Beyond the money we give out as prizes, they also earn by playing; so even while they play, they earn money.”

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