Winners of the first, second and third positions in the ongoing nationwide Lawn Tennis Competition, sponsored by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), will go home with N7 million, N5 million and three million respectively.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin yesterday, Head, Administration of the NCC, Mr. Kehinde Oladipo, said that the prize money was enough for somebody to invest and make something meaningful out of.
Mr. Oladipo, who said that the participating teams cut across states of the country, added that, “We don’t micro-manage them.”
“The initiative of the tournament is indeed, primarily aimed at empowering the youths. Because one of the ways to remove the youths from the streets is to empower them; the commission feels it should do something that is unique to take our youths off the streets, to give them what they are passionate about and it is going to take the lawn tennis itself to the next level”, he said.
He also berated successive governments in the country for relegating other sports to the background, saying that, “I am not satisfied with the attention successive governments are giving to tennis and other games outside of football in the country. It is like Nigeria is a nation of football.
“All other games are relegated to the background and this is why the commission feels like contributing something. That is why we picked tennis as one of the sporting activities we want to sponsor to improve its quality so as to
take it to the next level.
“To be very frank with you, tennis or sporting activity is a veritable tool to enhance sound health generally and we all believe that a nation that has a very healthy workforce is going to move to a very high level.
“So it is therefore recommended that government and non governmental organizations should invest in sports. Doing that is not only for social and economic attainment, but health which very vital for our being.”