Lottery Fund donates sports equipment to 49 Edo schools
• Obaseki inaugurates committee for Sports Commission
The National Lottery Trust Fund yesterday donated sporting equipment worth several millions of naira to 49 public schools across Edo State.
The facilities, which were presented to the benefitting schools at a ceremony in Benin City, saw the benefitting schools’ representatives leaving the venue with equipment for athletics, Taekwondo, badminton, handball, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, high jump and football.
The equipment include specially designed football, handball goal posts, table tennis boards and accessories. Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki commended the NLTF for the gesture, which, he said, fitted seamlessly into the present administration’s efforts at reviving sports in the state.
Represented by the Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, Mallam Suleiman Ali, the governor said school sports development forms the integral part of the young administration’s plan to overhaul the educational system in the state, noting that nothing in that regard could be achieved without investing hugely in school sports infrastructure.
On his part, Executive Secretary of NLTF, Habu Gumel congratulated the benefitting schools in the state and urged them to put the equipment to good use and ensure their security.
He said the programme was designed to benefit 2000 schools across the country, which, he added, was part of the intervention programme of the Trust Fund.
Gumel disclosed that the Trust Fund is being funded from the 20 per cent lottery proceeds from promotional lottery businesses as part of their statutory obligation to the Federal Government.
Also speaking, the representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Special Duties, Amina Mohammed Bello expressed the government’s determination to ensure a conducive and all round learning environment for school pupils anywhere in the country.
Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki yesterday inaugurated an 11-man committee to come up with the modalities for setting up a sports commission that will help the state reclaim her top position in sports in the country.
Obaseki said the idea of a commission of experts was the product of a workshop organised by the state government earlier in the year as part of his administration’s resolve to reposition sports in the state.
“As a government, our desire is to establish a sports commission that will help us meet our aspirations in the sector. We believe that those chosen for this task have the experience, skills, and knowledge in the world of sports, and will provide the framework for a premier sports commission in Nigeria,” he said.
The terms of reference for the committee include to design a holistic sports policy for Edo State to help reclaim its pride of place in the nation; help produce a legal framework to help establish a sports commission; prioritize the content and direction of sports in the state; design a framework to help rebuild sporting institutions and facilities to world class standards, as well as assist to design a strategy for private sector funding for sports in the state, among others.
In his response, the chairman of the committee and Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu thanked the governor for the confidence reposed in them and promised that the team would do its best to ensure that the state government achieves its desire to reposition sports in the state.
“When you talk about sports in Nigeria, the committee members are the best names and faces in Nigeria, and I want to assure you that the committee will not fail in this task. The report will capture the essence of the vision of sports by this administration,” the chairman said.