Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, at the weekend affirmed his continued support for sports in the state and urged the local councils to also pay premium to the growth of the sector.
Speaking at the final of the Governor’s Cup, which featured Jos North FC against Bassa FC at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium, Jos, Lalong said youth and sports development carries triple advantage of human capital development, economic enhancement and peace consolidation in the state.
Jos North won the competition by scoring four goals to Bassa’s two in the penalty shoot out that settled the tie. The regulation and extra time had ended in a draw. Langtang Council won the third place.
Excited by the quality of football he witnessed, Lalong said his administration was committed to ensuring that the youth found gainful employment in sports, adding that government would provide an enabling environment to develop them.
He challenged the 17 local council chairmen in the state to sponsor sports in their domain to ensure the youths were meaningfully engaged.
“I want to implore all the local government chairmen to equally pay attention to sporting activities by sponsoring their teams to zonal and international competitions as a way of increasing the potential of our youths and enhancing their capacity and finding employment through sports,” he said.
He directed all the local government chairmen to organize chairman’s cup competition this year in their respective councils and also ensure that they register and participate in this year’s Governor’s Cup with players that are resident in their local governments.
“I am delighted to witness this year’s finals in person. From the beginning of this administration, we identified human resource development and social welfare as the second critical component of our policy thrust, second to peace, security and good governance.
“Youths and Sports development carry the advantage of human capital development. It is far this reason that I directed the reintroduction of not only school sports but also the local government zonal grassroots sports.
“We also incorporated and hosted recreational sports such as Rowing and Canoeing at the Rayfield Resort and the Governor’s Cup competition has also been resuscitated with international participation and we also hosted the Federation of Public Service Games, the Jos International Marathon and Polo, all within the less than two years in office.”