NEW YEAR MESSAGE: Sir Paul Ofoni congratulate Edo State Governor, Obaseki and the Oba of Benin, ask for more collaboration from the Government to Support the Entertainment Industry
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GREETINGS TO THE GOVERNOR OF EDO STATE, GODWIN OBASEKI AND ALL EDOLITES

For a long time in a long while we’ve not had a pragmatic, proactive and visionary leadership at Osadebey Avenue until your advent into power in 2016. From a distance, we’ve witnessed the setting of enduring foundation blocks for the certain future of Edo State. It's true that these gains are not so glaring because it's not grandstanding for the world to see. For starters, you’ve been able to impact financial discipline and accountability in our polity. There’s also frenetic pursuance and acquisition of critical infrastructure for the economic growth of our state. It involves constant power supply through the Azura Power Project, refinery, the port facility at Gelegele, Edo tech hub to nurture and groom skilfully endowed Edolites for the future. Also making Edo State an investors haven while deploying and harnessing the abundant natural, cultural and human resources replete in our state.

Only a sound and intelligent mind, a selfless, imaginative and ingenious leader like you can harness and galvanise the whole State to action. After all said and done we believe Edo is in safe hands. We salute your avowed commitment to making Edo great again, we salute your industry and sagacity. Together with your team, the indefatigable and hard work of a deputy,  Hon. Philip Shaibu, we pledge our loyalty to your visions and dreams for our dear state.


Godwin Obaseki - Governor of Edo State



Sir, we are fully grounded in the creative industry and we wish to intimate you of our journey so far. We introduce WALKFRONT AFRICAN NETWORK AGENCY, the owner and promoters of the Best of Edo Awards. For four years running, we’ve held this prestigious event consecutively at different locations in Benin City. It’s a thing of pride that we’ve acknowledged and celebrated Edo sons and daughters meritoriously for their great strides and achievements nationally and globally. The Best of Edo Awards is the veritable platform that recognises excellence in every field of endeavours.

Sir Paul Ofoni, is the president of Walkfront African Network Entertainment Agency and the CEO Best of Edo Award a reputable platform with endorsement from both corporate and traditional institutions that have given recognition to Edo sons and daughters at home and in the diaspora that have written their names in gold. Paul Ofoni has been into business project development management since 2003 and has handled a lot of personal and organizational projects within and outside Edo state. He has so much passion and vigour for the Edo Entertainment industry. He is a business administrator, public speaker, Media and event personality.


Paul Ofoni - CEO Best of Edo Award



To this point, we would like to solicit your indulgence for a full-scale collaboration towards the operational aspect of setting up and tapping from the juicy prospects of an enduring and prosperous entertainment industry in Edo State.
Sir, the entertainment industry of Edo State can provide boundless job opportunities for all and sundry. Many of our people are adept in one creative venture or the other but we never thought how much impact they would make to bring money into our state. This industry can trigger a chain of activities like demand for tourism, hotel accommodation facilities, catering services, transportation services, health services and local labour as connected to our local economy.
It's instructive to note that over 80 million international travellers are influenced by films worldwide. The influences of Hollywood is of great example for us and other countries are cashing in on the vast opportunities the film industry is offering.
Turkey is building its emerging film industry. It is generally acknowledged that one of the most important results of exporting TV series is that it impacts the great volume of the travel demand to Turkey, which is known as the film-induced tourism effect. Today Saudis and Bulgarians are most interested in visiting Turkey after the broadcast of the TV series which reflects their culture and history. Turkey is the world’s fastest-growing television series exporter and has currently overtaken both Mexico and Brazil as the world’s second-highest television series exporter after the United States.
Also in the fray are South Korea and the Philippines and they’ve emerged as the major exporter of culture and tourism and give advantage to their economy.
In 2014, the South Korean government allocated 1% of its annual budget to cultural industries and raised a $1 billion fund. Everyone is well aware of K-pop and K-dramas. They are famous for their unique concept and amazing direction. It is creating a great impact on other countries.
This is where we Edos can react with our vaunted and globally acclaimed cultural heritage. We encourage the Edo State Government, the Oba Palace, well-meaning Edo sons and daughters to invest in our culture through the production of dramas, TV series, movies and stage performances. These products will also be tools of dissemination of culture and language to other nations.
There was a time Bollywood was actually the second biggest industry in the world. The Indian culture and language were adopted worldwide. It also put India on the global stage.
In this digital age, the fastest way to conquer and control is through cultural invasion. We’ve been enslaved to foreign culture and fancies and it's about time we embraced what’s ours.
By making strong content we can make our industry strong. We need good story writers, good scripts and plots. Good directors and producers. Most importantly,  state of the art studio equipment,  props and special effects.
Edo State Government should allocate budget for the entertainment industry and also help in training the practitioners for optimum output. This will boost our economy and create a good image for our people and the country in general.
With the trending news of the return of stolen Benin artefacts back to the state, it's time to write our own stories. We have a repository of knowledge in our great cultural icons doting our ambience. We have the human resources, we have the will but we need the resources.
To step forward, we need a blueprint, a working plan on how to set it off. We hope to produce a series of high end and in-depth documentaries, short films and TV series highlighting the culture and history of the great Benin Kingdom. The government is expected to create the enabling network, the capital and support for this novel venture. Besides, the long term benefits will be felt in Edo State which inevitably will become the new Nollywood hub of the film industry.

We would like to congratulate His Royal Majesty, Omo'noba  Uku Akpolokpolor, Ewuare II, The Oba of Benin for a successful Igue Festival. We know as our royal father, we look up to your guidance and direction in our visions for a greater Edo.


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