The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, on Tuesday, unveiled the 2021/2022 season jersey for Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin and Edo Queens Football Club.
Obaseki during the unveiling ceremony at the Government House in Benin City, said the government will continue to harness the sporting potentials of the state to positively engage youths and create economic opportunities for Edo people.
The governor, who hailed Sterling Bank for supporting Bendel Insurance with the sum of N50 million, urged other corporate organizations and well-meaning Edo indigenes to partner with the government to maximize the gains inherent in sports development.
Obaseki noted, “I am sure that with the performance of Bendel Insurance this season and that of Edo Queens, we will have our friends that will do the same thing as Sterling Bank is doing for Bendel Insurance.
“But as a government, we are very clear that our emphasis is on our people. We are lucky that sports is not on the exclusive list in this country, so we are not going to wait for anybody to develop sports or develop our sportsmen to become global sportsmen.”
“We will continue to invest our hard-earned money in sports and will monitor that those investments yield the required results,” he reassured.
On his part, Shaibu, while reaffirming the government’s commitment to the development of football, urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to sanction any football club that fails to abide by the rules that guide the game.
He charged, “I want to challenge our NFF to make our teams in Nigeria professional teams; sanction any club that does not follow your rules; that is the starting point.
“We can no longer win the champions league or the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) trophy, not because we don’t have the talent, but because of bad administration. I am challenging the NFF today. We have a governor who loves sports and is ready to assist.
“When we were sworn in, we promised to make sports our number one priority and return Edo to its number one sporting position in Nigeria. We started by rebuilding the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium and other sports facilities in the state,” Shaibu noted.
Earlier, a representative of the NFF and its first Vice President, Seyi Akinwumi, hailed the government’s sustained investment in sports, reassuring that the football regulatory body will look into the activities of the management of the Nigeria National League (NNL) to ensure that the right thing is done.
L-R: First Vice President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Seyi Akinwumi; Chairman, Sterling Bank, Asue Ighodalo; Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu; Governor Godwin Obaseki; Executive Director, Sterling Bank, Tunde Adeola; Interim Technical Adviser and Super Eagles Coach, Eguavoen Augustine, during the unveiling of the 2021/2022 season jersey for Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin and Edo Queens Football Club, at the Government House, in Benin City, on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.