The Nigerian Telecommunications Commission (NCC) at the weekend revealed that it has spent N25 million on talent hunt and promotion of its tennis league. Specifically, the telecommunications regulatory agency says the sum is spent on prizes, sponsoring league games and other logistics of the competition.
The NCC is currently sponsoring 12 teams across the six geopolitical zones of the country to encourage the youths develop their skills in the sport.Speaking at the second round of the NCC Tennis League at the Trade Fair Lawn Tennis Court in Ado Ekiti on Saturday, where Team Yetade from Ado Ekiti played Team Luik from Lekki in Lagos, NCC’s Principal Manager, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mrs. Oritseserundede Ajagbona described the steps taken by the commission as part of its social responsibility to the Nigerian society.
She said the winner of the national and annual athletic events would be rewarded with a sum of N7 million, while runner up, third and fourth place finishers would get N5 million, N4 million and N3 million respectively.
The NCC official added that each of the 12 teams have been given a takeoff grant of N500,000 for participating in the annual sports event.She said: “Sport is a very important instrument in the life of a nation to develop the potential of our productive youths, many of who have taken to drugs and other crimes. This tennis league will build their potential and take their minds away from these social vices.
“It is part of our social responsibilities targeted at generating activities for the youths and improve the qualities of Tennis players in our country.“This is the first tennis league in Nigeria and NCC is fully sponsoring the sport to promote our youths and bring out the best out in them.”
The Chairman of the Ekiti State Sports Council, Chief Deji Samo and Vice President, National Tennis Federation, Chief Yemi Owoseeni applauded the Commission for its intervention, saying the League was conceived to boost the morale of the youths and propel young tennis players across the nation.Owoseeni, owner and sponsor of the Team Yetade, added that the initiative came at the time when Nigerian governments were harping on the need for youths to discover their talents and make best use of them, rather than looking for free money through white collar jobs.
“This is an initiative that will make us showcase our talents to the outside world. It will also help the government to improve on the existing facilities once a Tennis League is established. The utmost aim of this is for each participating team to discover its strength and weaknesses for sports development,” he said.