‘Yanga Games to raise N34 billion for Nigerian sports in four years’

Promoters of Yanga Games, a digital gaming platform, have disclosed plans to raise over N34 billion for Nigerian sports in four years through lottery, jackpot and raffle draws.

According to the project, the funds would support sports federations, contingents to international competitions, unlock talents, develop grassroots sports, contribute to ex-internationals welfare, rekindle local sports following and remix sports and entertainment.

Speaking during the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony with the Federal Ministry of Sports, Executive Chairman, YangaGames Technologies Ltd., Derrick David Kentebbe, said the outfit aims to ensure that inadequate funding would no longer hamper Nigeria’s participation and success at major championships, adding that the project would galvanise the country’s best athletes to bring honours to the nation.

Kentebbe said that the project would herald a new dawn for sports in Nigeria, adding: “Over the years, there have been many initiatives that should have laid a solid foundation for our sports, but they were truncated by systemic failure, lack of political willpower and policy summersault.

“We intend to turn past errors into experience that will shape the future.
“Like the minister, my team and I believe that this project will stand the test of time as it has gone through many stages of scrutiny by experts and critical stakeholders, who will help midwife the initiative.”

He said that sports, more than any other human endeavour, has earned Nigeria global attention.

“In football, basketball, track and field, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting and other events Nigeria has produced world champions.

“From the days of Empire Games to our great exploits at the Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games, Nations Cup, World Cup and worldwide events, Nigeria has proven that she is a force to reckon with in showcasing great talents.

“Despite initial hopes of a greater tomorrow, our sports progress had been hampered by too many challenges such as funding, lack of enabling environment for athletes to thrive, bad policy implementation, and others.

“We cannot continue to lament past errors that dragged us down, but we are resolved to forge a new direction that will lead us to genuine development of our sports,” he said.

He said that the concept of the collaboration with the sports ministry is to use sports as a vehicle for development, growth, mobilisation, social engineering, employment opportunities and empowerment of the youth.

“This noble idea will restore confidence in our sports and encourage private sector investment and partnership. This will not be possible without removing barriers and change attitudes,” he said.

Also speaking on the project, Sports Minister, Senator John Owan Enoh, said that the partnership was aimed at achieving the ministry’s seven-point agenda by injecting funds to sports development from the private sector.

“We are here today to celebrate a private sector key in to the opportunity provided by sports to contribute to nation building.

“Investment in sports is huge, so, government alone can’t do it, we are calling on other cooperate bodies to join us in developing our sports just as Yanga games in doing now.

“Under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the country has adopted sports as a tool for national development.

“Sports gives Nigeria global recognition and attention.
“So, the partnership with Yanga Games is an opportunity for cooperate bodies to contribute to sports development in the country,” he said.

The minister said that President Tinubu gave various segments of the country opportunity to contribute toward the growth and development of the country.

“My duty is to promote leadership toward ensuring sports development in the country. These are in areas of athletes’ welfare which is my top priority. Infrastructure development is also key in my agenda toward sports development, most of the country’s sports facilities are decayed and need upgrading or total rebuild. We really have huge issues of decaying sports infrastructure that need urgent attention. We also want to activate some of our past sporting events that helped us discovered talents at the grassroots.
“Restructuring of sports federation is also very important to us, if we must get it right in sports sector,” he said.

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