Since the NFF named the Godswill Akpabio Stadium as home of the Super Eagles in 2015, there has been appreciable increase in revenue generated by hotels, motels, guest houses etc.
There is hardly any of the aforementioned that is not filled to capacity whenever the Super Eagles are in town.
My conversation with a manager of an undisclosed Hotel in Uyo, a fortnight ago revealed some amazing facts as regards the subject matter. The conversation was not an integral part of our discourse on the night, but she managed to draw my attention to this very relevant economic indices.
She asked? Oga please when is Nigeria playing next, are they coming to Uyo? I heard someone said that they have a game against Cameroon and the game has been moved to Port Harcourt. Is it because money no dey to hosts them or because say dem no dey win here? Please help us beg the Governor make him do everything possible make dem come play for Uyo”. In this recession, business has not been moving well, na opportunity e go be for us to recover small”.
I was curious, could not hold myself, but was forced to ask her why she was so interested in the Super Eagles returning to Uyo? Her reply got me thinking.
“Oga, the money we dey make within one week whenever Super Eagles come to Uyo, we no fit make that kind money for a month. Make una no do oooo! I don programme myself finish to dey make money. If na the only thing Udom go do for me be this, I will be always grateful to him. My target is too much this month”. she said.
Little did she know I came to book rooms for some persons that were billed to come for the game between Nigeria and Cameroon.
The excitement and pleasure derived led to my forgetting to discuss my share of 10℅ as e dey always be, madam no worry, after the match I dey come, just keep am.
The story is the same across several hotels and guest houses within Uyo metropolis. This is a testament to the fact that whenever the Eagles are here, Hospitality business strives better. Such impact can also be felt when the state host international or reputable local conferences and other strategic events.
My personal conviction is that there is positive correlation between sports and hospitality business, and that has been demonstrated in the consistent visit of the Eagles to Akwa Ibom.
I can’t help, but keep thanking Governor Udom Emmanuel for boasting the revenue base of people in the hospitality industry, by always accepting to host the Super Eagles even at a time like this where recession is biting hard.
Special thanks to the immediate past Governor, Godswill Akpabio for building such a magnificent edifice that has unarguable placed Akwa Ibom in the world map. Posterity will vindicate you and always.
God bless Akwa Ibom!
Promise Etim writes from Uyo!