Hoteliers, businesses and residents of Edo State are in high spirit as preparations for the Super Eagles’ 2021 AFCON qualifier against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City hits top gear.
A cross-section of business owners who spoke to journalists at the weekend in Benin City, said they are all excited as the match is sure to record a large turnout of people to the area, which in turn leads to increased business activity.
They further commended the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led state government for the revamp of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, noting that the hosting right for the competitive match was made possible because of the new look of the stadium and upgrade of all facilities including the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology.
A hotel owner, Aisosa Edokpolor, acknowledged the positive impact of the match on economic activities in the metropolitan city, noting that they have recorded increased enquiries from people traveling to the state to watch the match and would need to lodge in their facilities.
Mrs. Ovie Okundia, a food vendor, couldn’t hide her joy with the prospects of making huge sales.
In her words, “I am very happy because I know I will sell more on that day than I used to in the past as people from all over the world will be in Benin to watch Nigeria defeat Sierra Leone.
“We thank our ‘Wake and See Governor’ who through his infrastructural projects has continued to put smiles on the faces of Edo people. We will continue to support and pray for him as he continues with his people-centric reforms and policies in the second.”
Another businessman in the metropolis, Osamede Igbinovia, noted: “As you can see, we have gone to market to stock up our stores in anticipation of the match on November 13.