Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has called on the private sector and philanthropists to support golf in order to raise the prize money and attract internationally-acclaimed golfers to play in Nigerian tournaments.
He made the appeal yesterday after performing the ceremonial tee off of FCT Classic on the 2018 West Africa Golf Tour at IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja.
He lamented that the combined prize money of $50,000 for both Lagos and Abuja tours will not attract top-class professional golfers to Nigeria.
He said countries stand to benefit greatly from sporting activities, hence the need for the government and the private sector to tap into the enormous opportunities that golf presents, and to support the West Africa Golf Tour in developing the game.
Mohammed walked through three holes in the company with former Captain of IBB Club, Hamid Abbo and President of West Africa Tour, Emeka Okatta.
“The West Africa Golf Tour speaks for the commitment that I hold, as the minister of Information and Culture, for the promotion of Nigeria’s rich tourism potentials.
It showcases Nigeria to the world -our golf courses, natural surroundings and cities as well as our culture, thereby putting Nigeria, West Africa and Africa in the limelight and helping to advance the efforts to improve our image and economy,” he said.
The ongoing West African Tour attracted golfers from Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon, Senegal, Germany, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Nigeriaâ€™s Gift Willy had the round of the day and seats atop the leaderboard at the first tournament of the 2018 West Africa Golf Tour season, FCT Classic with a one- under par 71.
Vincent Torgah, Pristhy Njji and Kabiru Haruna tied in second position after level par 72. Visitor Mapwanya came fifth position, despite having sunk five birdies in a row in the first five holes, with a score of 1-over par 73.