Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration’s vision to reform sports is aimed at creating jobs and curbing restiveness among youths.
The governor made the submission during a dinner organised to unveil the new logo, jersey, team bus, technical team as well as manual for the rebranded Bendel Insurance Football Club (FC) in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Obaseki said, “We have a keen interest to reform the sports sector in the state, and this is aimed at providing solutions to youth restiveness and unemployment. For us, sports have the potential to uplift the lives of our people and offer hope to youths who seek a better country.
“Edo people are sports-loving. We will leverage this as we continue our reforms and give hope to our teeming youths. The steps made in reforming the Bendel Insurance FC will serve as reference point to drive more reforms in the sector.”
He added the reforms will focus on grassroots sports development, noting, “Design and contracts for the construction of mini stadium in each local government area across the state have been completed. Local government chairmen will be mandated to ensure that the project is completed to encourage young men and women at the grassroots to tap into sports.”
Obaseki called on investors in the state to support the present administration’s efforts to restore the state to its pride of place in sports in the country.
Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, hailed “the achievements of the club, which has a reputation of producing contenders in the national team. These include, Peter Osazee Odemwingie, Austin Eguavoen, amongst others. These great players have represented the state at national and international assignments.”
Shaibu added, “The decision to rebrand the Bendel Insurance FC’s logo with the image of Queen Idia was to project the club members as warriors, out to win battles. I am optimistic that the rebranded Bendel Insurance FC will emerge as a force to contend with.”
On his part, President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, commended the state government for its initiatives in repositioning Bendel Insurance FC, and urged “The state government to partner corporate bodies for sponsorship to achieve self-funding and ensure the club is not dependent on government grants.”
“It is important for football clubs to run independent of government interference to ensure consistency. The club can develop its cards; Silver and Premium cards and VIP stand to serve as means for generating funds,” he added.
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