FG, CBN Sign MoU to Revamp National Theatre
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Revamping and Restoration of the National Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos, has been signed.
The deal was signed on Sunday, February 14, 2021, between the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)/Bankers Committee.
This followed the approval of the Federal Executive Committee (FEC) on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, for the transformation of the national asset built for the Festac 77.
Before the signing of the deal today in Lagos, on July 12, 2020, the federal government officially handed over the National Theatre to the CBN and Bankers Committee repairs.
It was gathered that MoU signing and award of contract for the project witnessed on Sunday by the Governor Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State; the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed; the Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Mr Sunday Dare and the Governor of CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
Others present were the CEO of Access Bank, Mr Herbert Wigwe; the General Manager/CEO of National Theatre, Prof Sunday Ododo; the Director of Legal at the Ministry of Information and Culture, Mr Nnanna Ibom, amongst others.
The National Theatre, when completed, would be one of the best event centres in Africa. It will also have the Lagos Creative and Entertainment Centre (LC&EC), which will comprise four hubs: films, music, information technology and fashion.
Speaking at the signing ceremony today, the Minister of Information and Culture assured that there would not be a single job loss, rather, the project would create no fewer than 10,000 direct jobs.
In his remarks, the CBN Governor disclosed that the renovation of the National Theatre would take 15 months to complete, assuring that the edifice would be one Nigerians would be proud of.
Business Post reports that the construction of the National Theatre was started by the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon and completed during the military regime of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1976 ahead of the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977.
The facility a 5,000-seater main hall with a collapsible stage and two capacity cinema halls, all of which are equipped with facilities for simultaneous translation of 8 languages; among others. But for many years, the National Theatre was abandoned and left to rot away.
2023 GTCO Food & Drink Festival Holds April 29 to May 1
The annual GTCO Food & Drink Festival is back again for its 6th Edition, and food lovers across Africa and the world are in for a feast like never before! The event is slated to hold from Saturday, April 29, till Monday, May 1, 2023, at GTCentre, Plot 1 Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos, providing a 3-day weekend of food and endless celebration.
The GTCO Food & Drink Festival brings together the greatest minds on the global culinary stage, the most industrious Nigerian small food business owners, a world-class, state-of-the-art children’s play area, merging them all to give attendees the most memorable food and drink event.
Commenting on the 2023 GTCO Food and Drink Festival, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Segun Agbaje, said; “Food and drink are intrinsically social things, and best enjoyed when shared. We understand the value of bringing together businesses and consumers who are passionate about food and have continued to inspire new ways to experience life through food and drink. The continuing success of our free-business platforms reflects our unchanging commitment to Promoting Enterprise and echoes our brand promise of creating Great Experiences.”
Constantly innovating the space and on a quest to continue creating great experiences for all stakeholders, GTCO Food & Drink will be expanding its capacity by creating more opportunities for more businesses and increasing its highly coveted vendor stalls from 142 to 204, giving even more innovative and assiduous business owners a chance to not only showcase their businesses to the over 250,000 foodies in attendance but also engage with their customer base and learn from a confluence of other great-minded food entrepreneurs. The event will also feature three premier DJs in Africa, setting the scene for a weekend of celebration, food, drink, and togetherness.
Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc is a leading financial services company providing banking and non-banking services, including payments, wealth management, and pension fund management, with a presence across eleven countries spanning West and East Africa as well as the United Kingdom. The Group operates a diversified, Proudly African franchise and is renowned for its innovative approach to customer service and stakeholder engagement, which has endeared the brand to millions of people across Africa and beyond. Over the years, many customers have benefited from its unique loan products, including the Food Industry Credit and Fashion Industry Credit designed specifically for businesses in the food and fashion industry.
It’s time once again to come together and celebrate the great joys food has to offer! Attendance is FREE.
For more information on the event, please visit: https://foodanddrink.gtcoplc.com.
Data Shows Opportunities for Streaming Services in Romance Films
By Adedapo Adesanya
Fresh data over Valentine’s period show that streaming services could yet tap a goldmine from major opportunities available in the romance films genre.
According to data provided to Business Post by Reel Good, a streaming aggregator website, romance movies have been overlooked, but available numbers show that there is a resurgence.
According to Reel Good, “Five romance movies that premiered in 2023 accounted for 28 per cent of the streaming share out of the top 100 romance movies available to stream in the United States—meaning that people are starved for this content.”
It was also revealed that among the top 100 available to stream in the US between February 10 and February 23, five brand-new romance films accounted for a 12 per cent share of streaming. These include Your Place or Mine (Netflix, 2023); Somebody I Used to Know (Prime Video, 2023), You People (Netflix, 2023), Empire of Light (HBO Max, 2022), and Shotgun Wedding (Prime Video, 2022).
Netflix’s Your Place or Mine, a film about two long-distance friends swapping homes for a week and learning so much about themselves, recorded 7.3 per cent of streaming and engagement share from the two-week period among the top 100 romance films on Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) and Advertising-Based Video on Demand (AVOD) in the US while it had a 3.0 per cent streaming and engagement shared among the top 100 movies on both SVOD and AVOD.
Prime Video’s Somebody I Used to Know, which features a workaholic questioning everything about herself when her ex decides to move on with his life, saw 6.4 per cent in the top 100 romance films and 2.7 per cent in the top 100 films ranking.
Another offering from Netflix, You People, which is about a new couple and their family members examining their values and what is expected of them, accounted for 6.2 per cent in the top 100 romance category while on the top 100 films streaming and engagement share, it was about 2.6 per cent.
HBO Max’s Empire of Light recorded a 4.7 per cent of streaming and engagement share from the two-week period among the top 100 romance films on SVOD and AVOD in the US, while it had a 1.9 per cent streaming and engagement share among the top 100 movies on both SVOD and AVOD. It follows the story of a cinema manager struggling with her mental health, which forms a relationship with a new employee on the south coast of England in the 1980s.
Shotgun Wedding from Prime Video came next with a 3.4 per cent and 1.4 per cent share, respectively. The film takes the audience into a hostage situation at a wedding, where the couples must do all they can to save their loved ones.
Early predictions show that these numbers may yet get better, but streaming services could be sleeping on a major opportunity if they are not investing in romance.
Burna Boy to Perform at 2023 UEFA Champions League Final
By Adedapo Adesanya
In a historic move, Nigerian Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling singer, songwriter, and producer, Damini Burna Boy Ogulu will co-headline the 2023 UEFA Champions League Final Kick-Off Show at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul on Saturday, June 10.
The Last Last crooner will be the first African act to perform at the event sponsored by Pepsi since it was started in 2016 and became known as the UEFA Champions League Final Kick-Off Show by Pepsi, which replaced the UEFA Champions League Opening Ceremony.
This year’s other co-headliner will be announced soon, a statement said, adding that “the Nigerian star will bring his energy and signature soulful vibes of afro-beats to millions of fans before the biggest club fixture in football gets underway.”
Speaking on this, Burna Boy said, “As a huge football fan myself, I know it doesn’t get any bigger than the UEFA Champions League! That’s why I’m so excited to be performing on the Pepsi stage at this year’s final. Music and football are the ultimate combinations, so you already know I’ll be bringing the vibes and making magic in Istanbul. The world isn’t ready for what we have in store!”
On his part, Mr Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA marketing director, said: “The UEFA Champions League Final Kick-Off Show is a significant part of our joint efforts with Pepsi, providing an incredible opportunity to reach new and younger audiences with some of the biggest names and rising stars in music.
“We’re excited to showcase a line-up of talented artists at this season’s final in Istanbul in what is sure to be an energetic and memorable performance.”
On his part, Mr Gustavo Reyna, Pepsi’s senior director of global marketing, said: “The UEFA Champions League final is the stand-out date of the club football calendar, and Pepsi prides itself on marking the occasion with the very best entertainment spectacles.
“The newly named ‘Kick Off Show by Pepsi’ is going to be huge this year; we’re so excited to welcome Burna Boy, one of the world’s most exciting artists, to the final stage, and we can’t wait to see which fans are selected to feature as part of this truly unmissable performance.”
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