Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu,has canvassed for the enactment of a law by the Nigerian parliament at the on-going constitutional review, to compel the private sector and multi-national companies to contribute part of their profit to sports development in Nigeria.
The Deputy Governor made call during a courtesy visit by the Executive Council of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), led by its President, Samuel Ocheho,at the Government House,Benin City.
He posited that sports has the capacity to take millions of Nigerian youths out of the unemployment market, affirming that the transformation of the sports sector in Edo State has engendered employment opportunities for the youths and enhanced the economic prosperity of the people.
According to Shaibu, “sports should not just be a social activity, but a concerted collaboration between government and the private sector.One thing we have done in Edo is for government to play its role and provide an enabling environment for the private sector to play their expected role”.
He added: “Edo State is already taking the lead with Sterling Bank sponsoring Bendel Insurance, the state-owned football outfit. The nation needs an enabling law to compel the private sector to support sports development”.
Shaibu disclosed that the Edo State Sports Commission has been given the mandate to target 15 sports and create league competitions, including handball in order to promote sports development at the grassroots and sued for the support of HFN.
The Deputy Governor noted that the present administration was determined to bring Edo back as a destination and haven for sports in Nigeria, pledging the collaboration and support of Edo State Government to the Handball Federation of Nigeria in sponsoring some of its programmes, particularly the upcoming Senior Handball Championship to be hosted by Morocco.
Earlier in his address, President of Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Samuel Ocheho, applauded Edo State Government for its massive transformation of the sports sector, particularly the support being enjoyed by the HFN in its efforts at growing and developing the game of handball in Nigeria.
He expressed satisfaction with the performance of Edo State Handball Male Team at the on-going championship in Benin City, hosted by Edo State.
The HFN President said he was delighted by the appointment of Mrs. Sabina Amiemenoghena Chikere as the Permanent Secretary of Edo State Sports Commission, describing her as ” a round peg in a round hole”.