Fashola officially rolls out City of Lagos Monopoly

Posted: December 17, 2012 in travel & tourism

nigeriaProduct specifically designed to boost Lagos as a tourist destination and drive destination marketing of the state has hit the market, just as Banana Island replaces London’s pricey Mayfair on the Lagos version of the monopoly game.

The product, city of Lagos edition which is the first of its kind in Africa was launched at a well attended ceremony at the Lagos City Hall with the state Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola in attendance and rolling the dice.

It would be recalled that a media briefing had preceded the official launch that held on December 10th,the media briefing which held at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi had in attendance,Nimi Akinkugbe, financial expert and CEO, Bestman games, Peter Griffin, Development Director, Winning Moves, Thomas Liddel, MD Winning Moves, Lola Odedina, Head Corporate Communications, GT Bank Plc and Folake, First Bank Nigeria Plc, who took turns to explain reasons and modalities of the game.

Speaking at the Conference, Nimi Akinkugbe, highlighted that Africa has suffered from negative reportage, and its high time we corrected that, Speaking further, she noted that the game would enable a return to family values, ‘’it enables a return to family values, families sharing quality time around the monopoly board and gaining business acumen in the process. The board would also highlight the many beautiful landmarks across the city of Lagos. ’sometimes we ignore the beauty of Lagos, the landmarks, the architecture we hope to enhance the beauty of African cities starting with Lagos, she said.

Also speaking at the event was Peter Griffin, Development Director, Winning Moves, the authorised distributor customized editions of monopoly in Africa, excluding South Africa, he said it was about time the game came to Africa, “i m so glad that it came to Lagos, by virtue of Lagos being the oldest city in Africa.

Folake Ani-Mumuney, Head Marketing and Corporate Communications, First Bank plc, the bank sponsored the project because of the obvious benefits, it would have for families and the training in financial literacy it would offer children in a fun way. “For me this is very special, we are very proud that it has come to fruition.’’

Echoing Ani-mumuney”s position, Lola Odedina, Head corporate communications and External Affairs, GT Bank, said, “it’s a no brainer, we had to get involved because it’s all about Lagos.”

Questions for the panel, which also featured Thomas Liddel, the MD Winning Moves and Bolaji Uthman, Director General of Lagos State Records and Archives Bureau (LASRAB) included questions about gaining an audience in an age where online games and the like had taken top spot. Other issues raised included piracy, accessibility, affordability and local production of the board games, which are currently produced in Ireland.

Regarding the digital platform, Griffin said it would not be surprising if a digital version of the Lagos monopoly was soon introduced, the fact that families and friends can gather round a board to play was however an advantage for monopoly.

Akinkugbe did not rule out piracy but was convinced that people interested in buying the game would also purchase the original for its visual quality.

On producing the boards locally, Liddel revealed that the Ireland factory where the Lagos edition was produced currently produces boards for the whole of Europe. For her part, Akinkugbe did not rule out the eventual production of the boards in Nigeria as there are future plans to create versions of the monopoly featuring other Nigerian cities.

Featuring local landmarks like the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, the Iddo terminus, The Lagos Yacht club, Agege, Makoko and featured and Admiralty Way, Muson Centre, Sabo-Yaba,opebi, GRA Ikeja and the Palms Shopping Mall, many were curious to know what determined which landmarks appeared on the board.

Chukwuka Monye of Civic Consulting, creative consultants to Best man games on the Lagos, monopoly said, the creative team had so many landmarks to choose from but had to make sure that the board game was available for Christmas.

Commenting on Lagos State’s support for the venture, LASRAB”s Uthman said all the chosen landmarks are part of those that depict the cultural mosaics of Lagos state.

According to the visionary, Nimi Akinkugbe, the idea was conceived in October 2010. She met the Lagos State Governor in August 2012 and the product was ready in time for Christmas, “the main goal of the producers as they intend it to be one of the reigning gifts during the holiday period and after. The boards cost 5500 naira and 6500 naira a piece.

“If you are worried about the value of the naira and how many millions you will need to buy a property in the Lagos monopoly, that has been taken care of as all monopoly games now share a unified currency the monopoly dollar.”

Monopoly can be traced back to the early 20th century, and the board is produced by Hasbro, the leading board game producer in the world, with a net revenue of approximately US$4.29bn dollars.

By Oluchi Ibe

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