Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The National Lottery Trust Fund (NLFT) has donated sports equipment to 40 public primary schools in Bauchi State as part of its commitment towards promoting grassroots sports development in the country.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo officially flagged-off the distribution of sports equipment to 2,000 public schools nationwide in Abuja on Friday, May 20 2016.
Presenting the equipment to the 40 benefitting schools in Bauchi State monday, the Executive Secretary/CEO of NLTF, Habu Ahmed Gumel, said the intervention programme seeks not only to promote grassroots sports development nationwide but also in tandem with the federal government’s Change Agenda of transforming the sports sector to enviable heights and in line with best practices of leading nations in sports.
According to him, “we will ensure that government’s objectives to promote grassroots sports development through the application of statutory remittances from lottery proceeds remains sustainable, and we will continue to channel resources to key government projects and programmes that will bring succour to ordinary Nigerians.’’
“This intervention programme seeks to enhance our capacity to grow and expand the nation’s talent base by securing the interest and involvement of our children of primary school age in sporting activities.
“We intend to distribute sports equipment to about 2,000 public primary schools selected nationwide to cover the six geo-political zones and the programme is expected to improve our future performance in sports at all levels by harnessing the potentials of our young talents and nurturing their transition to world-class athletes, sportsmen and women.’’
He however warned, “lottery operators and licensees and indeed business promoters that engage in any form of promotional lottery should abide by their obligations of remitting lottery proceeds to the Trust Fund, as government will no longer tolerate sharp practices that undermine the growth and development of lottery good causes in the country.’’
The executive secretary then urged stakeholders to continue to work with the NLTF to further raise awareness of the value of lottery funding to modern life and its transformational legacy to the nation.
In a brief remarks, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, said that by the directive of President Muhammad Buhari that these sporting items be distributed nationwide goes to show the preparedness of the government to positively impact on every sector of the national life.
The SGF who was represented by the Director in-charge of Parastatals in his office, Mr. O. Oyemade explained that “by the distribution of these sporting items, government expects that it will act as a catalyst for the development of future sportsmen and women nationwide, and particularly in the northeast’’.
“Playing lottery itself is a precursor to good deeds, and funds from good deeds arising from the play of lottery have been used in various ways several years ago for good deeds. For instance, the Olympic Games held in Britain four years ago was paid for to the tune of 80 per cent by lottery money. Several world-acclaimed universities have been built through lottery activities. Niger Republic literally runs its economy on lottery activities. It is also important to note as a matter of history that the proceeds from the National Lottery had been used to sponsor African Games in Algiers in 2007 and host African Games in 2009,’’ the SGF declared.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo officially flagged-off the distribution of sports equipment to 2,000 public schools nationwide in Abuja on Friday, May 20, 2016.