Cross River to create special budget for sports development, says speaker
Speaking in Calabar yesterday after performing the kick-off of the fourth Northwest Calabar Municipal football tournament, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Williams Jones Eteng said, “the state House of Assembly will do its bit in that regard by simply creating a budgetary provision, especially encouraging the sports commission with budgetary provision for talent hunt.
“That is all our responsibility. We cannot legislate on this but we can encourage full budgetary provision.”
Eteng regretted that “the country’s first football team came from Calabar,” adding, “as we speak, in the national league, we cannot find our name anywhere. But when we see tournaments like this, we need to encourage it.
“For us in Cross River, we will encourage the sports commission to take up its responsibility. I was asking the organizers.
“From what I have seen now, the state can reclaim its position in the nation if we keep to the model of bringing them young and going forward the best talents. I have seen a lot of talents today and I think if we keep it up, we will discover a lot of players that will play for Cross River State.”
He advised other corporate organisations in the state to emulate the Northwest Petroleum Company in sponsoring competitions and community-based initiatives, adding, “every day, our laws keep emphasising that every company should add value to the society where they are doing business.”
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of the tournament’s Organising Committee, Ntufam Donatus Etim said the tournament has helped in checking the crime rate, as many youths are engaged in it.
“We urge other companies and even capable individuals to also sponsor similar sports tournaments. It should not be only football. Let other sports be given attention.”
The organisers have earmarked N250, 000 for the winner, while the first and second runners up would get N150, 000 and N100, 000 respectively.
In the opening match of the competition, Ward Nine defeated Ward Five by a lone goal.
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