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June 16, 2024
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Tinubu Commends Mbah for Enabling Safe, Supportive Sports Environment”

Nigeria President, Bola Tinubu, has lauded the governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, for providing a safe and conducive environment for the country’s sports stakeholders to converge on the state for national sport council meeting, stressing that his administration was pleased with the governor over his commitment to promoting sports.

This was even as the governor said that his administration had already sealed an agreement with the private sector to build a state-of-the-art sports park in the state to provide enabling facilities for sports development and talent discovery.

President Tinubu, who made the commendation during the maiden edition of the National Council on Sports (NCS), which was held in Enugu on Wednesday, added that sports play a crucial role in the development of any nation which commits significant investment in the sector not only as entertainment and recreation but as business.

Speaking on the theme, “Sports for National Unity and Socio-Economic Growth”, the president, who was represented by the Minister of Special Duties, Hon Zaphaniah Jisalo, charged Nigerians to see sports as a tool for fostering unity, promoting health and driving economic growth, adding that sports offers young people opportunities to build character, discipline and leadership skills.

He called for innovative approaches to enhancing the sporting potential, inclusivity and equal opportunities for all Nigerians regardless of gender, age, or physical ability.

Speaking, Governor Peter Mbah described sports as veritable tools for unifying a country, serving as a common language irrespective of tribe, tongue and creed.

The governor, who noted that Enugu remained the home of sports legends, recalled the exploits of Rangers International Football Club across the continent, and described the club as a poster image of the state’s illustrious sporting history.

While acknowledging the huge economic role sports are playing in the global market, the governor urged stakeholders, both from public and private sectors, to consider investing in the untapped industry through the right partnerships.

“Sports are a veritable catalyst for social change and economic growth. Every weekend, during the English Premier League season, Nigerians flock to viewing centres to watch their favourite teams play.

“This was the kind of fervour we used to demonstrate towards our football teams in the past. We should all be challenged to re-enact that,” he further recommended.

He said that the administration recognised the huge sporting talents in the state which led to the partnerships with some private sector investors to construct a state-of-the-art sports park that would create a platform for talent-discovery among the youths and sports enthusiasts.

Governor Mbah further underscored the facilities to be expected at the sports arena on completion, which included training facilities, housing for athletes, physical therapy and sports medicine centre.

On his part, the Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, stressed that Enugu was chosen to host the maiden National Council on Sports because of its strategic sporting role in the country.

“It is indeed of historical importance that at this key moment, when sports in Nigeria require a reset, we are gathered again in a state I would consider a source of sporting excellence,” the minister added.

He described sports as a powerful driver of socio-economic growth, calling for investment in sports infrastructure, talent development, and grassroots programmes in order to nurture athletic prowess, stimulate local economies, create job opportunities and promote healthier lifestyles among Nigerians.

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