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Enugu gov’t seals multi-million dollar deal for entertainment, sports city with investors

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The Enugu State Government has concluded a multi-million dollar agreement with Del-York Group to construct a state-of-the-art entertainment and sports park in the state.

Governor Peter Mbah, while signing the venture agreement with the investors over the weekend at the Government House, Enugu, said investors have started picking interest in the state in their numbers for businesses because his administration was able to work tirelessly to make Enugu the safest state for living, investment, sports and entertainment.

The landmark project, named “The 042 Arena and Entertainment Park”, which is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment hub, is a partnership initiative with Del-York International Group designed to focus on key areas of development, training, innovation, education, talent discovery, hospitality, entertainment among other areas of interests.

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Addressing the governor and other key stakeholders, the Chief Executive Officer of Del-York, Linus Idahosa, said Enugu State was considered strategic for the launch of the project for various reasons, including its tourist attractions, the efforts of the state government in fostering growth and development of sports and entertainment industries in the south east zone which had already received global recognition.

“We feel that today is a very special day in the annals of Nigerian history for so many reasons such as the roles that Enugu State government and the South East have played in the development and growth of the creative industry and sports industry across the world. For His Excellency to have taken the initiative to begin a project of this kind that seeks to create an environment that will foster the growth and development of sports and entertainment industries for the Southeastern region is an incredible effort that deserves praise globally.

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“We are happy as a group to be in partnership with the state, and we are happy to be here to sign this joint venture agreement with the state for the sports and entertainment park we are to set up. We are also very thankful for the speed at which members of your cabinet have worked tirelessly round the clock in ensuring that we come to where we are today,” the Del-York CEO stressed.

He lauded the government for the support it was giving the group, saying the state had shown seriousness in making the state a hub of investment and attractive to investors, adding “I am sure that this marks a totally different trajectory for the development of the industry that we are here for. We believe that building on the strengths of placing the rich heritage of sports and entertainment within the state at the epicentre of its development strategy, the possibilities of the future are
limitless.”

On his part, Mr. Frank Pastorino, an EVP Development investor with Del-York Group, said the country, and Enugu State in particular, has extra-ordinary potential and wealth of opportunities specifically in areas of sports and creative industries which the rest of the world should pay special attention.

Describing the sports and entertainment industries as phenomenal opportunities for youths, Pastorino harped on the importance of investing in the sectors in order to bridge the opportunities that have eluded young people in the space.

He added, “Critical investment in the area of sports development, sports discovery, training, conditioning; Nigeria, and Enugu, is the epicentre where the future of sports talent and development should lie. The opportunity here in the South-East region is extraordinary, and we are very pleased to be here. As investors, we work across professional sports, from soccer to a myriad of other sports, like tennis, and so forth”.

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An investor, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Phoenix Global Group Holdings, Larisa Miller, insisted that the sports and the entertainment sectors have a broader economic prospect with the right vision, plan and programmes which are what they are bringing to the state.

Responding, the governor said the deal only showed the triumph of the Enugu investment drive spirit, which his administration had set to achieve from the inception of the government.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to make the state the premier destination for investment by de-risking investment flow, assisting investors with the right environment through deliberate efforts in investing in infrastructure and security.

“As you already know, we are on a mission to make Enugu state the premier destination for investment, and the area of interests for us is quite diverse. We understand the associated benefits that could flow from developing sports and entertainment sectors.

“We also know that Enugu has always played very critical roles in those areas; in entertainment, we are proud to always say that this is where it all started. We are the harbinger of that whole industry. It all started here and it wasn’t by accident. I think our topography, our environment, and our people naturally lend themselves to making Enugu State as that destination for preferred entertainment,” he added.

Governor Mbah, who further assured investors of support and other intervention from the state government, called on all stakeholders and other investors to see the state as the right place to set up their businesses as the administration had already identified and solved challenges usually faced by investors.

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The Sports Arena will have the following facilities on completion; training facilities, athlete housing, a physical therapy and sports medicine centre, a performance centre among others while the Entertainment Park will house facilities such as screening rooms, stages, amphitheaters; live, work and play facilities, among other numerous designs.

The project is also expected to create thousands of jobs for the people of Enugu State and attract investors and a surge of tourists to the state. It will additionally provide a platform for the youth to showcase their talents, promoting sports and youth development in the state and the entire South-East region.

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