Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Monday inaugurated the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 18th National Sports Festival billed to be hosted by the State in November, stating that Lagos will match and exceed the standard set by the last host, Rivers State.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the Banquet Hall of the Lagos House, Ikeja, while inaugurating the Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire said Lagos State as a Centre of Excellence will succeed by using its strongest asset which is the people.
The governor said “we have chosen to succeed by using our people who are our strongest assets and allow the private sector to drive our sports festival and hopefully sometimes Nigerian Sports. There is too much government in our sports. But Government can play its role of regulation but should allow private sector to express its power of enterprise and flourish”.
The Governor explained that the Deputy Governor is statutorily the Chairman of the Committee and supported by heads of ministerial departments and agencies to facilitate communication with government to enable it play its role to regulate.
Governor Fashola added that the State Government is humbled by the acceptance of many giants of the Nigerian Corporate, Legal, Political and Social world to serve the Committee expressing the hope for not only a true sporting spectacle but also the first National Sports festival that will have a corporate sponsor and also many event sponsorship of the various games.
“More importantly, I expect the kind of efficiency that our partnership with the Private Sector has elicited in security, education, infrastructure, solid waste management and transportation to be replicated in our sporting life”, the Governor stated.
Governor Fashola stated that the resolve by the State Government to improve the sporting fortunes of the State and the Country is one of the reasons why she bidded for the hosting rights and also accepted the rights.
He reiterated that Lagos State has been encouraged by the enthusiastic response by individual and Corporate citizens in the many sporting championship from football, lawn tennis, table tennis, athletics and scrabble that are sponsored by the Corporate and individual organisations.
The State Governor also implored the boards of the various sports associations which were recently inaugurated to harness the potential championships in respective sports into a harmonised calendar through which they can monitor emerging talents and provide support that will nurture them.
He added that because the effort will need collaboration to succeed, the various sponsors are also being implored to kindly notify the associations of their programmes and event for ease of record and for the purpose of accreditation.
Earlier the State Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Mr Wahid Enitan had said the inauguration of the Local Organising Committee with its various organs marks an important step towards the successful hosting rights.
He also presented all the members of the Local Organising Committee to the gathering.
Later, while responding on behalf of the LOC members, the Chairman and Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire thanked the Governor for the opportunity given to the members to serve the State and promised that the members will deliver the best Sports Festival in the history of Nigeria.
He called on sports loving individuals and Corporate Organisations to support Lagos State Government efforts in funding the hosting of the games.
The members of the Local Organising Committee inaugurated include Commissioner for Sports,Mr Wahid Enitan, Vice Chairman, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, Commissioner for Health, Dr Olajide Idris, his counterpart in Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr Disun Holloway, Special Adviser on Sports, Dr Dolapo Badru, member of the State House of Assembly, Hon Babatunde Ayeni, Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, Mr Yakubu Alkali, Permanent Secretary, Office of Sports, Mr ‘Delano Adepoju-Conde, the Asoju- Oba of Lagos, Chief Molade Okoya Thomas(CON.
Other members are Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, former Managing Director of United Bank of Africa, Mr Tony Elumelu(CFR), Alhaji Uba Saidu Malami, Chief Ademola Seriki, Mr Olawale Edun, Mr Olusegun Dawodu, Mr Adewunmi Ogunsanya, Erelu Angela Adebayo, Professor Ademola Onifade, Mr Ademola Sadiq, Mr Ayodeji Tinubu, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, Mr Godson Uti, Mrs Grace Asagba, chairmen of Local Organising Committee (LOC) Sub-Committees, Dr Kweku Tandor who will serve as the Secretary General and Mr Nunayon Travih who would function as the Assistant Secretary-General.