The President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mr Honour Sirawoo, has expressed the readiness of the association to join the National Lottery Trust Fund in monitoring sports equipment being donated to public primary schools across the federation.
Sirawoo made the pledge in Port Harcourt when the National Lottery Trust Fund donated athletics, volleyball, basketball, handball, badminton, table tennis, judo and taekwondo equipment to 37 public primary schools in Rivers state.
He, therefore, directed all chapters of the association to work with the various education boards in their respective states to ensure the sports equipment were put into proper use by the beneficiaries and not diverted. He stressed the association’s support for grassroots oriented sports development.
The Executive Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund, Engr Habu Gumel, while handing over the sports equipment, tasked the beneficiaries to put it into proper use and “ensure the safe keeping so that they do not get stolen as we have already alerted security agencies to apprehend any culprit who diverts these Federal Government intervention materials.
Gumel reaffirmed Federal Government’s objective of promoting grassroots sports development through the application of lottery proceeds, adding “we will continue to channel resources to key government projects and programmes that will bring succor to everyday Nigerians.
According to him, “This present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari is strongly passionate and committed to advancing, uplifting and promoting grassroots sports development in the country and this exercise of equipping our public primary schools with quality sports equipment through funding from the national lottery is a clear demonstration of government’s desire.”
He called on lottery operators, licensees and business promoters that engage in any form of promotional lottery to keep to their obligations of remitting 20% lottery proceeds to the Trust Fund, while insisting that the government will no longer tolerate sharp practices that undermine the growth and development of Nigeria.
Also speaking at the occasion, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Engr Babachir Lawal, who was represented by Dr Amina Shamaki, stated that the government has identified sports as a major revenue earner that is capable of contributing significantly to Nigeria’s gross earnings outside of oil.
According to him, “we will strive to extend this gesture to as many games and schools as possible. We will at the same time, explore the possibility of concentrating on infrastructure and equipment that should endure in the longer term so as to expand the base of target beneficiaries.”
Rivers State Governor, Barr Nyesom Wike, thanked the trust fund for the donation, pointing out that it would go a long way in helping the state to discover young talents, while also being educated.
The Executive Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Venerable Fyneface Akah, while commending the federal government and the lottery trust fund for the donation, assured of their reading to use the sports equipment and ultimately unveil talents that would be of good to the state and Nigeria at large.
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
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