The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has reaffirmed the state governmentâ€™s resolve to promote sports as a means to boost socio-economic development in the state.
Obaseki gave the assurance at the 2018 University of Benin Sports Award, held at the University Sports Complex, in Benin City, Edo State.
The award ceremony was organised by the management of the institution to celebrate its alumni, who have contributed to sports development and students who won laurels in inter-university sports competitions, such as the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA).
The governor, who was represented by the Special Adviser on Special Duties, Mr. Yakubu Gowon, said his administration would continue to attract both local and foreign investors to develop the sports sector, noting, â€œWe are not sparing efforts towards ensuring that sports development is promoted along with all the ancillary socio-economic benefits.â€
“Along this line, we have approved the construction of 20-mini stadia across all the local government areas in the state. The Bendel Insurance Football Club has also recently been rebranded and retooled to spur the interests of the young people in football, which is now a multibillion dollars global business that has transformed the lives of many across the world,â€ Obaseki added.
He lauded the ivory tower for organising the award ceremony, noting, â€œThis would ensure sports development and encourage sportsmanship among athletes and sports enthusiasts to contribute their parts to the development of sports in Nigeria.
He noted that the selection of people of proven integrity to be honoured for their commitment and contribution to the development of sports, would encourage sports development in the state
Those awarded at the ceremony includeÂ Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Phillip Shaibu;Â Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung; President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick; Chairman, Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba; and the former speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Ochei.
Awards were also presented to students who won laurels for the University at the 2017 Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA), in Makurdi, Benue State.