Taekwondo. PHOTO: worldtaekwondofederation.net
The Taekwondo Federation of Nigeria (TFN) has appealed to the Federal Government to grant 10 per cent tax rebate to private sector companies that sponsor sports.
Speaking on Saturday in Calabar at the end of the First Calabar Open Taekwondo Championship jointly sponsored by Royal International Farms and Estates Limited, First Royal Microfinance Bank, Triple Star Printing Press Limited and First Royal Water, TFN President, George Ashiru, said tax rebate was necessary to encourage private-sector sponsorship of sports in the country.
Ashiru commended the state’s Sports Council for partnering with the private firms, noting that sponsors required conducive environment to thrive. He urged the National Assembly to enact laws that would offer 10 per cent tax rebate to individuals, private and corporate organisations that Sponsor sports.
“There is need for the private sector to be involved in the sponsorship of sports because government alone cannot foot the bills of various sporting federations. I bet you, that most of multinationals will prefer to back sports if they are assured of a rebate of no less than 10 per cent in taxes.
“Surely they will also benefit from the discount. Through such sponsorship our youths will be employed, lured away from vice-breeding idleness and encouraged to participate in potential medal-winning sports like taekwondo.”
He said the dearth of medals for Nigerian contingents to the Olympic Games was due to lack of continuity in sports administration and proper planning, adding, “the taekwondo federation has already earmarked four centres of excellence for the development of taekwondo in Nigeria. Two other taekwondo centres of excellence are being planned for the South-South and South-East geopolitical zones to stimulate more interest in the sport.”
The Managing Director of First Royal Microfinance Bank, Ima Onoko, said they were sponsoring the sport in line with the bank’s corporate social responsibility and appealed to the taekwondo federation to locate one of its proposed centres of excellence in Calabar because of the abundance of talents in the area.
He added: “We have come to understand that the resources sunk into the sponsorship is not a waste but an instrument for boosting human capital development and social growth”.
Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director of Royal International Farms and Estates Limited, Usen Umoh, said 116 taekwondoists from14 states of Nigeria participated in the three-day championship that also involved the Police and the Nigeria Civil Defense Corps, who fielded athletes in the male and female categories of the championship.