Satisfaction Food Village Commences Operations In Ogoni
…Promotes Good Health Through Choice Foods
…Prominent Ogonis Pour Encomiums
…Tai Council Chairman Grants Tax Rebate
God’s arrangements in the affairs of men are undoubtedly beautiful but often difficult to comprehend. That’s what is called providence! It played out on Sunday, July 17, 2022 when Satisfaction Food Village, the latest establishment in the nation’s hospitality industry was unveiled to Ogoni people and Nigerians at large in Kira, Tai Local Government Area.
A state-of-the-art restaurant, ‘Satisfaction’, as it is called, is strategically located at the ever busy Nonwa-Kira Expressway, and fitted with the finest, modern facilities of a four-star hotel.
Talk about providence, the opening ceremony, coincided with the birthday anniversary of the wife of Port Harcourt-based businessman and Chief Executive Officer of Satisfaction Food Village, Mrs. Elizabeth Giobari Lesi Maol. It was a fanfare to behold as dignitaries joined the couple to cut the tape, and then the cake, to signal official opening of the facility.
Elizabeth’s birthday party, according to her husband, Hon. Lesi Maol, had delayed the opening of the edifice as he had wanted both occasions to be observed same day. And for a birthday present, the business mogul blessed his wife, Elizabeth with the Managing Directorship of the company, a statement that drew wild applause from the crowd.
Coming at a time when the public sphere has been taken over by politics, with no occasion taking place without a dint of political tinge, it was therefore heartwarming to see the crème-de-la-crème of Ogoni, drop their party tags to honour one of their own. And to crown it all, a clement weather and hitch-free atmosphere prevailed all through the ceremony.
The list of heavyweights, especially members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and their All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, was endless: Former Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe; member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dumnamene Robinson Dekor and member representing Gokana Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Dumle Maol were all present.
The list also includes Hon. Christian Ahiakwo and Hon. Nathaniel Owaji, both representing ONELGA Constituencies 1 and 2 respectively. The immediate past Rivers Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Fred Kpakol; former Commissioner for Energy, Dr. Peter Medee, Hon. Austin Sor; Hon. Chief D. K. Badom and Hon. Tony Okocha were also present.
The President of KAGOTE and former member of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Emma Deeyah; former President of Movement for the survival of Ogoni people (MOSOP), Barrister Ledum Mitee and another KAGOTE chieftain, Chief Priscilla Vikue, also graced the event.
Prominent traditional rulers present at the occasion were the Gbenemene Gokana, HRH, Dabari Paago, Gbenemene Bangha, King Suanu T. Y. Baridam and members of the Kegbara Kira Council of Chiefs and Elders led by Paramount Ruler, Chief Michael B. Uyor, Chairman and his deputy, Chief Hon. Augustine Nte, as well as members of the Kira CDC and Youth President, Joseph Toba.
By his estimation, Hon. Maol, while delivering his welcome address, said the presence of ‘95%’ of Ogonis at the event clearly showed the acceptance of the project which he said, is established in the very heart of Ogoni land.
He went on to explain the reason he chose to bring the project back home to Ogoni. Stressing that he stood to be corrected, Maol said his decision was necessitated by the fact that Ogoni had been on the wrong side of the news for awhile and needed something very positive to change the narrative.
“Every time I hear negative news about Ogoni, I feel a lot of Ogonis are unhappy and so, the only solution is to do something positive to make us happy. That made me to take a journey to various hotels and fast food outlets in and outside Port Harcourt. I saw good ones but I decided to come home to replicate something better. And that informed the establishment of what you all see here today, because we say that charity begins at home”, he said amid applause.
“What I have put here, by God’s grace, can compete favourably with anything you have outside. This is just the beginning because by God’s grace we shall take this vision far into other African countries. We shall spread like wildfire”, he said.
Maol revealed he got the revelation of setting up the project from the book of Joel 2:26, “And ye shall eat in plenty and be satisfied”, adding that one thing is to eat, and another thing is to get satisfied, stressing that his outfit had come to fill the gap.
He went on, “We are going to provide home delivery service to any village in Ogoni land. All you need to do is to call our phone number, place your order and a dispatch rider will deliver your order wherever you are in Ogoni land”.
Adding humorously that “husbands and their wives will no longer quarrel over poor food preparations”, he disclosed that the company has buses that would be distributing breads and other baked items each day of the week.
“Because this venture has been accepted by the Ogonis, it will be accepted by outsiders. This would not have worked without the support and encouragement from my beautiful wife. It is for this reason that I want her to come out and join me here”.
“Anything you can eat is available here, and that’s we call it ‘Satisfaction Food Village’”, he said.
Hon. Maol caused a stir as he announced a bonanza sale at N500.00 for medium-sized bread. He however added that the gesture would last only for the day as the commodity would be sold for the current market price beginning from Monday, July 18, 2022. This development triggered commotion as the sales attendants were later overwhelmed by a crowed of anxious buyers.
The Executive Chairman of Tai Local Government Area, Sir Mbakpone Okpe while speaking while speaking, commended Hon. Lesi for his initiative, adding that his choice of Tai for the project showed the depth of love he had not just for Tai people but for Ogoni and Rivers State in general.
“Lesi has demonstrated that development can now move from Port Harcourt to Ogoniland, and Tai in particular. And with this other investors can now come to Tai to explore the numerous opportunities here.
“For this kind of establishment to be put here, it showed that there is security and a good enabling environment where other competitors can also come and do business. Today, this investment is going to do a lot of good for the Tai people such as employment opportunities”, he said and urged Ogonis to give Leesi all the support and patronage he needs to succeed in the venture.
While assuring that the Tai Council would leave no stone unturned to ensure adequate security for the hotel, he also promised a one year tax rebate for the company.
“Because he has appreciated Tai people by establishing a business that would give them jobs, for the whole of one year, Lessi will not pay a dime as tax to Tai Council. I am also assuring him that in all our businesses as far as it relates to what he is doing, we shall now do it all with him. We won’t take our money outside anymore. We shall keep it here”, he said, amidst applause.
Okpe revealed that in few months to come, a Chinese firm would be coming to invest in Tai, and expressed hope that the presence of the firm would boost the businesses of Satisfaction Food Village.
In his speech at the occasion, former member representing the Rivers South East at the senate, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe also commended the proprietor of the company for the initiative, adding that the outfit could compete favourably with its counterparts elsewhere.
Senator Abe thanked the Tai Council Chairman, Sir Okpe for the tax rebate granted the company, adding that such incentive is needed to encourage more investment in Ogoni land.
“Those who have tried to indulge in business in the state would agree that one of the challenges we have in business is multiple taxation. If you put out your table, in the morning, somebody will come, drag the table and you settle.
“In the afternoon, another person will come and drag the chair, you settle. In the evening, another person will come, drag the pan and you settle. But today in Tai, we are being told that this business will operate for one year, without harassment and intimidation. I think it is a very noble step”, he said and urged other investors to take advantage of the climate by investing in Tai LGA.
Chairman of the occasion, Rtd. Maj. Gen. Letam Wiwa while speaking described the establishment of the restaurant as one of the best things in the annals of Ogoni land, adding that the proprietor had not just invested for himself but for Ogoni kingdom as a whole.
Wiwa, a younger brother to the slain Ogoni environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa urged Ogonis to emulate the initiative of the hotel owner, either on a smaller or much bigger scale.
The retired Army General who expressed joy that the business would bring with it, a return on investment and grow the GDP of Ogoni land, urged both Ogonis and non indigenes to invest in the area as, according to him, Ogoni is a fertile ground for any legitimate business.
In his goodwill message at the event, former President of the Movement for the survival of Ogoni people (MOSOP), Barrister Ledum Mitee, described Lesi Maol as giver of light, as according to him, he left more developed places to bring his business down home.
“Apart from the employment that it generates, it tells people that we can also compete favourably with the best outside here. I have taken a tour of this place and I do not see many that can compete with you even in the state”, he said and appealed for massive patronage from all and sundry, so the Proprietor would realize the objective for setting up the business.
Also speaking, the President of KAGOTE and one-time member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emma Deeyah said he was impressed by the high standard adopted by Maol.
He said this choice of a standard would bolster the confidence of other Ogonis to look homewards while establishing future businesses.
“This kind of venture would also give confidence to visitors that Ogoni is very peaceful”, he said, and urged Ogoni people to support him to succeed.
Speaking in the same vein, a prominent Ogoni daughter, Chief (Mrs.) Priscilla Vikue said she aligns with the eloquent and encouraging encomiums poured on the proprietor of the business, Hon. Lesi Maol and commended him for his initiative to invest in Ogoni land.
“Very many persons would have loved to invest but they are afraid of insecurity. But Hon. Maol has demonstrated to everyone that peace has returned to Ogoni and the environment is very conducive for business.
“Whenever Ogonis are returning from Port Harcourt, they always branch off at restaurants on the way, but with the opening of this wonderful edifice, I do not think that any patriotic Ogoni person would want to do that anymore with what Lesi has provided for us”, she said.