Rio 2016: Oyo-Ita Named Matron Nigeria House Project


Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Ekanen Oyo-Ita will serve as an ambassador and Matron of the Nigeria House Project in the Rio Olympics in Brazil.

The top civil servant, who accepted the appointment, also during a visit by the Nigeria House In Rio Project Committee led by its Project Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Abdullahi, said she was impressed and highly honored to lead other Nigerians to sell the image Nigeria to the world and bring investments for the nation in Brazil.

Abdullahi had told her that other nations have had to appoint icons and symbols of unity who have excelled in their chosen fields as ambassadors of their houses during the Olympics and after going through the list Mrs Winifred Ekanem Oyo-lta is more than qualified. “As we speak countries already have their houses established in Rio to showcase their potentials. For us, it is all about investments drive in critical sectors like agriculture, solid minerals, health, establishment of schools like universities in Nigeria, housing, real estates, transport and so on.

We are aiming to seal bilateral trades and have partnered the Nigeria Brazil Chamber of Commerce and very soon will have an investment forum in Sao Paulo in Brazil. We are saddled with the responsibility of promoting Nigeria’s image in Rio through these critical sectors. In this initiative, Nigeria is not operating in isolation because others countries have brought on board ambassadors as people who are icons and symbols of unity and have achieved in their chosen fields and careers which is why after checking all the lists we felt the Head of Civil Service deserves it and is qualified not just to be an ambassador but Matron of the Nigeria House in Rio during the Olympics.”

Reacting, Mrs Ekanem Oyo-Ita said from the detailed explanation of the project coordinator, the trip to Rio will not be a tea party but hard work in order to attract direct foreign investments for the nation and is willing to see that the vision succeeds.

“Listening to the project coordinator, l suddenly realized that this is a very big project. When l got the letter appointing me as Nigeria House Ambassador l didn’t really understand the depth of the assignment but coming here today to shed more light has really helped me to fully grasp what the project is all about. From what l can see l am going to do more work in Rio than what l am doing here. I think this is a very noble objective for us to work together to make the 2016 Olympic Games very meaningful to Nigeria as a nation because a lot of Nigerians do not really understand the importance of participating in an international event as the Olympic Games, they only see it from the sports and participation angle.” Oyo-Ita said.