The Enugu State Government has signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Del-York International Group to construct an entertainment and sports park in the state.
Peter Mbah, governor of the state, while signing the venture agreement with Del-York over the weekend at the Government House, Enugu, said investors have started picking interest in the state 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’, is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment hub and a partnership initiative with Del-York International designed to focus on key areas of development, training, innovation, education, talent discovery, hospitality, entertainment among other areas of interest, according to a statement on Sunday.
It said the sports arena will have the following facilities on completion: training facilities, athlete housing, a physical therapy and sports medicine centre, and a performance centre among others, while the entertainment park will house facilities such as screening rooms, stages, amphitheatres; 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, the statement said.
Addressing the governor and other key stakeholders, Linus Idahosa, chief executive officer of Del-York, 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 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,” he said.
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.
Frank Pastorino, an executive development investor with Del-York Group, said the country and Enugu State in particular have extraordinary potential and a wealth of opportunities specifically in areas of sports and creative industries which the rest of the world should pay special attention to.
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.
“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. As investors, we work across professional sports, from soccer to a myriad of other sports, like tennis, and so forth,” he added.
Larisa Miller, chief executive officer of Phoenix Global Group Holdings, said 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.
The governor further 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 and assisting investors with the right environment through deliberate efforts to invest in infrastructure and security.
Mbah said: “As you already know, we are on a mission to make Enugu state the premier destination for investment, and the area of interest 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 that destination for preferred entertainment.”
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.