Ogun government creates trust fund for sports development

The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has hinted that plans are underway to have a sports trust fund, with the view to have the partnership of the private sector in developing sports in the State.

Ogun State will soon set up a Sports Trust Fund that would help in creating an enabling environment to tap from the multiplier effects of Sporting activities.

The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, stated this when officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), led by the President, Mr. Amaju Pinnik, paid him a courtesy call in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, saying that sports, over time has moved from an entertainment past time to a Money spinning venture.

“We are putting in place, a Sports Trust Fund to create enabling environment to engage and enjoy the multiplier effects of Sporting activities. We are going to launch that very soon, so that our sports have enough funding”, he noted.

The governor, who described Sports as a means of youth employment, opined that when youths are kept busy, the rate of crime, gangsterism, drug abuse and other social vices committed by some of them are reduced to the barest minimum.

Governor Abiodun said the state over the years has produced Sports stars, who have made the nation proud in many international sporting activities, adding that the state was ready to partner the nation’s football body to encourage football in the state.

He said his administration was in the verge of creating the state sports commission to be headed by a renowned sport entrepreneur, just as some State stadia like the one at Ijebu-Ode have been rehabilitated to encourage sporting activities.

Speaking earlier, NFF President, Amaju Pinnik, lauded the governor on his achievements in the last one year, saying that he was in the state to prepare for the forthcoming General Assembly to be hosted by the state and the foundation laying of the sport house which would keep proper records of footballers in the country.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.