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NCF unveils accelerated growth programme

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The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), yesterday, in Abuja unveiled its Accelerated Growth Programme aimed at spreading the game to targeted 250, 000 youths in a grassroots development plan.

Chairman, NCF Caretaker Committee, Professor Yahaya Ukwenya, who was also the president of the federation’s immediate past board, said at the launch that the event was a continuation of the initiative started by the last board.

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“We had an outlined growth plan that we stuck to. Facility was one of the core of our attention, while the four-year tenure lasted, and we were at the tail end of it before the board was dissolved. This programme is actually a continuation of the plan.”

He said the programme means the country now has three cities with two world-class cricket pitches each, which are Lagos, Abuja and Benin.

According to him, “This phase of development, is meant to complement the facilities that is now in place.”

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Ukwenya said standard playing surface and access to cricket equipment had been the albatross to the game’s growth, adding that the launch of the Accelerated Growth Programme would bring everything together.

“We have employed 37 field officers across the states of the federation and 2, 000 starter’s kids for the officers to run the game,” he added.

Over 100 kids were involved in the exhibition game that launched the programme, which would be deployed through the Regional Development Officers across the country.

Secretary-General of the Federation, Taiwo Oriss, described the NCF as, perhaps, the biggest employers of development officers, saying it spoke to the huge investments in that regard.

“This project ties all our growth agenda together and we have a well structured team to drive this and deliver cricket as a tool for youth engagement and empowerment throughout the country,” said Oriss.

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