Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTR) has donated equipment worth millions of Naira to 38 public primary schools in Cross River State.
Speaking at the event which took place yesterday,the NLTF’s Executive Secretary, Habu Gumel, said the donation was in line with the Federal Government’s gesture to equip public primary schools for sporting excellence.
He said the donation followed the federal government’s flag-off of the donation of sporting equipment’s to about 2,000 public primary schools nationwide in May 2016 in Abuja.
He said the equipment donated, valued at several millioms of naira, which covered nine different sports reaffirms that government is passionate and committed to advancing, uplifting and promoting grassroots sports in Nigeria.
“This is a clear demonstration of government’s desire to foster better inclusion of the most vulnerable segments of our society especially school children
“This exercise of equipping our public primary schools with quality sports equipment through funding from the national lottery is a clear demonstration of government’s desire to foster better inclusion of the most vulnerable segments of our society especially school children.
“We are confident that this intervention programme will lead to the discovery of new talents in sports that abound in our communities and rural areas and also assist their physical and professional development,”Gumel said.
Gumel tasked the benefitting primary schools to put the equipment to good use, and ensure their proper security
Speaking at the occasion, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, said President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to channel available resources to develop Nigeria’s economy.
Lawal who was represented bv the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Dr Amina Shamak, stated that the renewed focus on the lottery industry was consistent with the federal government’s economic blueprint aimed at diversifying its economic base.
“Government is determined to harness needed resources wherever they may be found in order to continue to develop our economic potentials and apply them to the generality of Nigerians”, he said.
Lawal said government is determined to devote full attention to the industry to ensure it performs to meet fully, the revenue and development aspirations of our people.
Lawal said government has identified sports as a major revenue earner and capable of contributing significantly to our gross earnings outside of oil.
The state governor, Professor Ben Ayade who received the equipment lamented that it was unfortunate the country only gets representation in very few sports during international sporting events.
Represented by his deputy, Profesor Ivara Esu, the governor said the gesture by the Federal Government would enable youths to engage in other porting activities besides football and learn them to excel at all levels.
Ayade urged the benefitting schools to share with neighboring schools and ensure the equipment are put to good use.
The sports equipment donated were for football, badminton, handball, table-tennis, volleyball, basketball and athletics.