Sports Minister sets Olympics target for Rowing Canoeing Sailing Federation

2021 Admiral Porbeni Boat Race held at the Jabi Lake in Abuja.

The Nigerian Rowing Canoe Sailing Federation has been given a marching under to win at least two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, even as Admiral Festus Porbeni received commendation for his sacrifices and commitment over the years.

Speaking at the 2021 Annual Admiral Porbeni Boat Race at the Jabi Lake, Abuja over the weekend, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare said: ” I commend Admiral Porbeni for his commitment to this annual race and for making Boat Race popular in the last couple of years”.

“With what I have seen, we can now compete with the best in the world. His efforts has not only improved our ratings as the number one country in Africa, it has ensured that we qualified for the Olympics and Paralympics in Para, Canoeing and Para Rowing”.

“Be rest assured of the Ministry’s commitment and support to actualize the dreams of our athletes to win laurels for our fatherland. I have already marked Boat race to win two gold medals for us at the Olympics. We shall support your training anywhere in the country so that this dream can become a reality”

The Minister further said: “I’m most encouraged by your zeal and commitment which is in line with our public private partnership initiative. The birth of a new sports Industry Policy which is the final stage of assent would bring about changes that would attract sponsors and take care of the welfare of athletes.This should motivate other Federations to key into the vision of the Ministry of Youth and sports Development.

According to Admiral Porbeni ” The fruition of this event, especially at a critical time in our national life is a testament to the commitment and resolve of the board of the Nigerian Rowing Canoe and Sailing Federation to develop the sports. We shall not relent in this course.”
13 States, 2 clubs and few individuals took part in the event with States presenting only 6 participants for each event .

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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.