Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola
The Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) has thrown its weight behind the MTN Football Scholar project sponsored by the telecommunication giants, MTN Nigeria.
Speaking at a press conference held in Lagos Wednesday to herald the Season Two of the programme, Lagos State Football Association, Chairman, Mr. Seyi Akinwunmi, commended the organisers for the laudable initiative, adding that the idea is in line with the Eko Football vision.
“This is a fantastic programme and I think MTN deserves to be commended for investing in these kids. Now, they can go to school and also play football. This is what we stand for and preach in Lagos State.
“The Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola has also told us to ensure that all athletes in the state are educated. So, we want to thank MTN for putting together this wonderful programme which will transform the lives of our athletes,” Akinwunmi enthused.
The LSFA boss however advised the beneficiaries to ensure they uphold moral values as they are Nigerian ambassadors in the United States of America.
Earlier, MTN’S Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Mr Bola Akingbade had restated the motive behind the introduction of the initiative.
“The MTN Football Scholar is a soccer camp that focuses equally on football and academics. It provides a platform for Nigeria’s best student athletes/soccer players that are academically sound – to earn scholarship to US universities. It is a scholarship programme that connects MTN with the positive aspirations of Nigerian youths for international exposure – Soccer and Education,” said Akingbade.
He recalled that in season 1 of the MTN Football Scholar, Nigerians saw young and agile youths like Richard Ochefije and others who are now schooling abroad.
“Richard was discovered from Chief Segun Odegbami’s school – The International (Sports) Academy. While there he stood out on the football pitch, as the team captain, and in the classroom, as the top accounting student. Richard was one of the top participants to emerge from the MTN Football Scholar. He will be attending the Loomis Chaffee School in Connecticut. It is one of America’s best preparatory academies and a feeder to the elite universities from both an academic and athletic perspective,” observed the MTN marketing chief.
He said that the MTN Pulse has been involved and will continue to create opportunities for youth empowerment.
“No brand has invested in the Nigeria youth dream like MTN and you are witness to this, from Music to sports to education.
“The key components of the MTN Football Scholar training and exposure scheme will involve access to scholarship opportunities soccer oriented universities in the United States and linkages with other international soccer academies,” concluded Akingbade.