Kessington Adebutu, a Nigerian gambling mogul and founder of Premier Lotto Ltd., who is popularly known as “Baba Ijebu,” has taken on the rehabilitation of Nigeria’s national stadium after decades of degeneration due to poor maintenance. The Sun recently reported that the rehabilitation works are already 75-percent complete.
Sunday Dare, Nigeria’s sports and youth development minister, said the stadium will be ready in August. He disclosed the information during a courtesy visit to Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun. He added that the rehabilitation works were initiated through the ministry’s Adopt-a-Stadium Initiative.
Premier Lotto is Nigeria’s oldest and leading gaming company that offers lottery services and betting on major sporting events.
Adebutu ventured into entrepreneurship in 2001 when he incorporated the business. Over the years, it grew into a mega-franchise, with over 200 principal agents who now oversee 16,000 retail gaming representatives across western Nigeria.
Besides his betting business, Adebutu also has investments in Arbico Plc, a construction company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He serves as the company’s chairman and holds a 69.9-percent stake in the business. In 2019, Nairamentrics also reported his acquisition of a controlling state in Nigeria’s WEMA Bank Plc. He owns 10,685,688,150 shares, or 27.7 percent of the bank’s outstanding shares.
The Adopt-a-Stadium Initiative is a strategic partnership between Nigeria’s Sports and Youth Development Ministry and private individuals, who are willing to take up the refurbishment of degraded stadiums around the country.
The rehabilitation of the MKO Abiola International Stadium in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, was made possible under the initiative by Africa’s wealthiest man, Aliko Dangote. The billionaire fitted the stadium with a new football pitch, world-class tartan tracks and a new scoreboard.