He started as a saleman of a pharmaceutical company after his secondary education in 1955. While with the firm, he rose to the position of Sales manager for the then Lagos and Western region, made up of the present-day Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states. But in 1963, he left the company to start his own small business. This was influenced by a book he read which encouraged entrepreneurship.
He chose to be an entrepreneur in an odd area. Having no capital, he looked for a business that required little or no capital and what came to his mind was to be a pools agent.
“There was the challenge of finance because the money was not there to start a business. So I had o think about a job that required little or no money to start and what came to my mind was pools agency because, as an agent, all you need is a book, a pen and a small table.”
Today he is big and commands billions of Naira. Many people call him Baba Ijebu…
He started as an entrepreneur – a pools agent. Later, he went into partnership with his friend, the late Chief Solomon Adebayo Ayoku, and, within a short time, they became household names with their famous Face-to-Face Pools.
His real name is Kessington Adebutu. He sits atop the multi-billion Naira betting business – Premier Lotto.
Premier Lotto, also known as Baba Ijebu, is a gaming company incorporated in 2001 and was established to carry out lotto business in Nigeria.
“The public gave it to me. Funny enough, people have forgotten my family name. People think that is my name. It’s not my making. It’s not the name given to me by my father. It’s a nickname from the public and our satisfied customers and, of course, I am from Ijebu; maybe that explains it better,” he said about his famous Baba Ijebu alias.
On the ups and downs in his line of business, he said, “I started with pools, so I am used to the shock in any game. We have lost over one billion naira in one game before, but I am used to the shock. Lotto is like mutual contribution, so we get commission as the collector. People win certain percentage of our total gain. Definitely small percentage is left for us”.
He believes lotto gaming has empowered many young people and dissuaded them from heinous acts.
“The influence of gaming is enormous. People that have reservations are getting it wrong. I keep saying it that gaming is the stock exchange of the ordinary man on the street. At the stock exchange, people buy shares and, as we have seen, the shares crash at times. Similarly, when you game, you can win or lose but, at least, it gives the ordinary man hope and that stops them from any nonsense. We have also taken so many thugs out of the streets and they are useful to themselves, their families and the society at large,” he noted further.
To underscore his point, he said 6 of his children are working with Premier Lotto. Lol… lotto family!