By Fidelia Femi-Adedoyin
Former Vice President and Presidential candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON, has promised more funds and partnership with the creative industry in the country upon winning the Presidential elections.
He made this promise at the inauguration of the Mariam Babangida Leisure Park and Film Village, Anwai, Ugbolu road, Asaba. He urged the creatives to play an active role in enthroning PDP as that would guarantee access to the once promised allocation of a hundred billion naira for he industry.
Being the fourth project he inaugurated today, he congratulated the governor and his administration for being pace setters and ensuring enduring legacies are left behind.
His Excellency, the Governor Arthur Okowa thanked the President in waiting for coming to inaugurate the project. He also thanked everyone who had been instrumental in bringing it to fruition stating that he is very mindful of the fact that the project would impact the community and indeed the State, positively.
The Commissioner of the supervising Ministry, Culture and Tourism, Lawrence Ejiofor who along side other members of cabinet, consultant, contractors and members of staff had worked tirelessly to see the project come alive, was full of gratitude.
He thanked the Governor for choosing to domicile the project which was originally in beautification, in Culture and Tourism. Giving a brief background, he said the project was birthed following requests by some movie legends which was taken up by the transition committee of 2019.
According to the Commissioner, “the leisure park and film village was conceptualized, developed and built by the present administration under the able leadership of His Excellency, Senator Arthur Okowa”.
He informed guests present that the project is the first of its kind in the South-South and South-East regions of the nation, with the Leisure Park equipped with an observation tower that provides a clear aerial view of Asaba and Onitsha, a zoo with over 50 different exotic animals, an artificial lake, Children’s play ground amongst others.
Not leaving the film village out, he explained that the film village is equipped to accommodate all genres of production in line with 21st century best practices, having rooms for auditions, a 390 sitting capacity Amphi-theatre, editing studio, epic huts, hostels and clinic to mention a few.
Ejiofor disclosed that the Leisure Park is presently concessioned to Woodfield Farms Limited, operators of the prestigious Omu Resort, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, to ensure an effective, efficient and sustainable management. He therefore welcomed the world to Delta State.
Present at the inauguration were a retinue of government functionaries both at State and Federal level including the former Vice President, Arch. Namadi Sambo, Senator Dino Melaye, Prince Ned Nwoko and several Nollywood Stars such as President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Rollas, Ali Baba, Zeb Ejiro, Fred Amata, Patrick Doyle, etc.