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Naira rain as FCTA rewards Abuja 2018 athletes

24 Oct, 2020 | By Gyang Dakwo | ||

Athletes who did Federal Capital Territory (FCT) proud by winning medals at the last edition of National Sports Festival (NSF), tagged Abuja 2018, have been rewarded by FCT Administration (FCTA). Members of Team FCT 2018 were hosted to an awards ceremony at the Area 10 sports complex where cash rewards were handed to the beaming medal-winning athletes.

Categories of the cash awards are gold, N300, 000; silver, N200, 000; and bronze, N100, 000 each. The occasion was also used as a platform by the FCT sports family to bid farewell to the retired Acting Secretary of FCTA Social Development Secretariat (SDS), Mrs. Dilichukwu Onyedinma, who was also the FCT Director of Sports. Team FCT placed overall 7th among the 36 states and FCT on the medals table and came top among the Northern states, with 21 gold, 9 silver and 24 bronze---the best performance so far by the Territory in the history of its participation in NSF.

Speaking on the occasion, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who was represented by her Special Assistant on Youth and Sports, Hon. Simisola Ayoade, commended the athletes for achieving the feat which has brought glory not only to the sports department, but the Territory as a whole. Dr. Aliyu added that the welfare of athletes remains of topmost importance to FCTA, urging the sports department to pull all stops to ensure that matters concerning their overall well-being are accorded top priority.

She paid glowing tribute to Mrs. Onyedinma's leadership qualities, stressing that it was under her watch that the feat was achieved. "Dilichukwu carries sports in her wherever she goes and that is why she has done well. She believes in what she is doing and now that she has retired, I urge others to learn from what she did and left behind. I thank God that people are honoring you today. They are showing you that they love you," the Minister of State remarked. Also speaking, Acting Director of Sports, Mr. Luka Istifanus, appreciated FCTA leadership led by FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, for the gesture, saying it will go a long way in boosting the morale of athletes in the Territory and spur greater successes in future.

He said the department will strive to maintain the pace set by his predecessor and called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to develop sports in the Territory. Istifanus disclosed that plans are already in top gear for a sports outreach to all the nooks and crannies of FCT. He said: "I hope to continue from where my former Director stopped. We will carry sports to the rural areas. "We have 62 wards in FCT and I have had the opportunity to go on tour of Area Councils and I discovered that in some wards they don't even know what is called taekwondo, they don't even know what is called karate; so it is a challenge.

"We intend to, within a short time, organize a seminar which is called 'Train the Trainer' where we get people with knowledge of these sports to go into the rural areas and introduce the sports." In her address, Mrs. Onyedinma, who applauded FCTA for its support, commended the doggedness of the FCT Minister of State ''without whose support the awards would not have been possible.'' She also expressed gratitude to staff of the sports department and sports associations for their cooperation and dedication towards uplifting sports in FCT. Onyedinma said she was confident of the medal-winning capabilities of athletes from FCT and appealed for attention to be given to provision of sports infrastructure throughout the Territory.

She said: "In the spirit of sportsmanship, we deem it fit to identify with all sports-loving FCT residents on this occasion. "I am equally optimistic that if we succeed in these objectives, the youth of FCT will be well established up to international standard in their various games. "To this end, we are appealing for relevant facilities to be put in place in the FCT for a successful hosting of games at state and national levels."

She called on those still in public service to give their best at all times so that they end their service years on a happy note. The event was witnessed by FCTA, FCT sports associations, members of the FCT chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), as well as the athletes and their coaches.

News Update

Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari, noted this last week when FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, presented the FCT 2021 National Priority Capital Budget to the Committee.

The UN envoy who gave the commendation when he led a team on a courtesy visit to FCTA, said his organization will continue to support FCTA in its fight to ensure that the virus is kept in check.

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners have bestowed the Envoy Extraordinary award on the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, for her meritorious service to the institute in particular and the nation at large.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has stressed the need to deploy the instrumentality of the capital market to revive the nation's economy, given the negative impact of Covid-19 and #EndSars protests on the country.


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