Valentine Ozigbo, a Nigerian business mogul and a leading aspirant for the Anambra governorship has given some insights into how he plans to boost the economy of Anambra using the power of the youth, sport, and the entertainment industry.
Mr Ozigbo made this known on Monday, September 7, 2020 when he appeared as a guest on Double Take, a talk show on City Radio 89.7 FM, an independent radio station based in Onitsha, Anambra State.
In the revealing interview, Ozigbo stated that the youth and their activities, especially regarding entertainment and sports, would be a priority in his administration.
According to the respected business leader, he became drawn to developing the potentials of the entertainment sector after seeing the happiness and excitement on display at several events he had attended in the past.
In Ozigbo’s words, he plans on “leveraging the entertainment industry to solve major problems” as his many travels have exposed him to many countries that thrive and live off revenue generated from entertainment. He, therefore, wondered why such ingenuity could not be replicated and domesticated in Nigeria and Anambra state in particular given the teeming population of youths and abundance of talent.
Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, stated that the government should go beyond just “enjoying entertainment” but consciously seek out ways to create structures and an enabling environment that would make the talent of the state’s booming youth population blossom.
He highlighted his many contributions to the growth of the sector including his partnership with ace comedian, Ayo Makun and FilmOne Studios to executively produce the movie, “Merry Men 2” which has gone on to be one of the highest selling movies on Netflix in Nigeria.
He also used the opportunity to encourage youths in Anambra State to take advantage of the ongoing Anambra Talent UNLOCKED competition, an initiative of his philanthropical endeavour, Valentine Chineto Ozigbo (VCO) Foundation aimed at exhibiting the talent of Ndi Anambra in four categories; music, dance, drama and comedy.
Reminiscing on his time as the boss of Transcorp Hilton Hotel (between 2010 to 2018), he recalled how he used his office to increase the entertainment value of the hotel and Abuja in general.
“When I became the CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc, one of the things I set out to achieve was to change Abuja in my own way,”Mr. Ozigbo said. “Because I found out that when people venture into Abuja on a Monday, by Thursday, Friday they are out of Abuja by the weekend. It becomes a deserted ghost city as people from different parts would head to Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Owerri and Lagos for the weekend.”
“This presented a problem for me, who was running a hotel in the capital city. I changed the narrative by changing the psyche of people and how they perceive Abuja. So, it isn’t just where you come for business and politics but also where you can come and get entertained,” he continued.
He went on to give a breakdown of how he achieved his goals by providing incentives and concessions to entertainers for them to use the hotel’s facilities for their events. This development saw Transcorp Hilton Hotel host numerous high profile events with attendance running onto tens of thousands.
While describing the promotion of entertainment as “a quick win”, Mr. Ozigbo explained that all it took to harness the inherent potentials in the entertainment sector is a forward-thinking leader. “One with the knowledge, passion, interest, openness to learning that would provide the political structure, framework, and infrastructure for entertainment to thrive”. He said these are attributes he is endowed with.
Ephraim Adiele, Media Assistant to Mr. Valentine Ozigbo