<![CDATA[ - News]]>Sun, 19 May 2024 11:26:40 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[​Epe Defends eTranzact Title, Pockets N3m Cheque]]>Sat, 18 May 2024 16:41:18 GMThttp://titansportsnig.com/news/epe-defends-etranzact-title-pockets-n3m-cheque

Francis Epe has won the second eTranzact Golf Classic in Abuja.

Epe, who is the defending champion of the tournament defeated emerged with the best score others to coveted trophy on Friday, May 17, 2024, at the IBB Golf and Country Club.

Epe scored 71, one under par, consecutively on the three days of the event finishing with 213 in total. His score is two shots better Andrew Odoh, who came second, while Ibrahim Ocheje placed third with 220 score.

The champion who went home with N3 million cheque, was thankful to have defended the title and hopefully that he would travel to the United States for a tour in September.

“I am thankful to God that I was able to defend the title. It was tough playing against top players but I had to relax, focus and trust my ability.

“I am thankful to eTranzact and the Professional Golf Developmental (PGD) Tour for opportunities to play. We rarely have tournaments and it isn’t good for our development.

“Hopefully, I will feature in more events before the end of the year. I hope to travel to the U.S for tours in September. I hope I can get a sponsor early enough to achieve that,” Epe added.

Reaching on the success of the event, Niyi Toluwalope, the Managing Director/CEO of eTranzact, congratulated all participants, adding that the event surpassed the expectations of the organizers.

“The future of ETranzact is very bright. I think with the quantity and quality of performance in this edition is a significant increase from what we saw in the first edition.

“We are happy that the investments we made to partner with and support this venture has  paid off.

 “We are looking forward to next one where we will provide additional resources and ensure the quality remains consistent and get quality feedback like we have received so far,” he said.
<![CDATA[​GOLF: Francis Epe retains title as e-Tranzact 2nd edition ended in style]]>Fri, 17 May 2024 21:02:04 GMThttp://titansportsnig.com/news/golf-francis-epe-retains-title-as-e-tranzact-2nd-edition-ended-in-style

By; Sunny Canto

Abuja the capital city of Nigeria, West-Africa witnessed a remarkable and unforgettable three days event as e-Tranzact GOLF Classic roundup in a successful note at IBB International Golf Club.

Meanwhile, the One Hundred and Eighty-Six participants that played Fifty-Four holes, both in the Professional and Amateur golf, inclusive of Men, Ladies categories did competed fiercely and fairly.

However, Mr. Niyi Toluwalope (e-Tranzact MD) told Pressmen, "We're proud to be creating this platform, because there's so much potentials in this country; Nigerians are blessed" 

Adding, "The future is very bright, of course we're here to support positive program were people can learn, exchange ideas, discipline and grow through sporting skills, talents; urging Team Nigeria traveling for Paris 24 Olympics games to for medals and laurels" he summarized.

While (Ikoyi, Lagos) member: Francis Epe, the overall and professional winner expressed delight and satisfaction, "I'm planning on improving my golf career as a professional by traveling to Florida, USA for PGA tour because I began (1991) in Mokola, Ibadan then join Amateur category (2007) in Ikeja, Lagos and professional (2011); thanks to my Chairman for supporting me this far" he told.

Interestingly, Dame (Mrs.) Donli Julie OON, the (IBB International Golf Club) Ladies Captain who emerged 2nd position said, "I was playing to enjoy myself, but excited and elated finishing as Runner-Up, because I registered late and my eyes wasn't on the prize"

She add, "We're thrilled for such a wonderful golf event, also meeting the partners though we've Ladies range, Grassroot programs; I'm encouraging people to start from somewhere" Donli added.

Barrister Owoicho Emmanuel, the Amateur winner told Journalist's, "Life is full of Ups and Down but Golf is life; win or loss, it teaches resilient, discipline, humility"

"It's a misconception that only elite play this game, it's play across the world by different categories" he affirm.

Speaking during his closing remarks, (IBB International Golf Club) Chairman, host "We like to thank all the participants, spectators and sponsors for this enabling opportunity; and our facilities doors are open to them to use, also glad to have stage this amazing tournament" Ibrahim Bayero said.

Gracing the colorful and eventful finals are professionals from all works of life; however if talented and skillful individuals are properly enhance and foster, the sky will be our stepping point.

<![CDATA[eTranzact Golf Classic Returns to IBB Course with N20m Purse]]>Fri, 17 May 2024 07:00:00 GMThttp://titansportsnig.com/news/etranzact-golf-classic-returns-to-ibb-course-with-n20m-purse
The second edition of the eTranzact Golf Classic has been scheduled to be held at the IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja from Wednesday, May 15 to Friday, May 17, 2024, with a N20 million naira purse.
The event which debuted on the PGD (Professional Golf Development) Tour last year, promises to deepen its core objective of helping unearth and promote golf talent in the country.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of eTranzact, Niyi Toluwalope, said eTranzact has been on the path of pioneering projects, providing financial technology platforms for businesses to succeed, and the eTranzact Golf Classic is an offshoot of this vision.

“We are very supportive of the design and the management objectives of the Professional Golf Development Tour, that is why we launched the eTranzact Golf Classic on it last year. This year, we have taken our support for the golf development project a notch higher by introducing some changes around the event.
“This edition would be staged at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, in Abuja. This is our bid to bring a new flavour in terms of the challenge that the IBB Golf Course brings to the event. The other factor that would be different is that the event would now have a purse of N20 million, which is double what was on offer at the maiden edition,”
Toluwalope said that the event is also meant to appeal to a broader audience across the continent who have been showing interest since the event debuted last year.

Femi Olagbenro, PGD Tour Commissioner, said the new tweaks to the eTranzact event were welcomed and added to the portfolio of innovations that the Tour is known for.
“What eTranzact brings to the Tour and the golf community at large is their pioneering spirit and so far I can confirm that these additions are well received. Registrations have been on the high and entries are swelling.” He added.
This year event is powered eTranzact’s top corporate and productivity solutions – SwitchIT and PayOutlet, and it’s payment gateway – Credo.

The first edition of the event staged at the Lakowe Lakes Golf Course in Lagos, was won by Francis Epe. Epe also presently leads the PGD Tour’s 2024 ranking with a marginal point difference from Olapade Sunday, whose win in the event might upstage the ranking order.
There are also potential threats from Okoko Godwin, Kamalu Bako, Inalegwo George, Elisha Markus, and Kabiru Habu Mohammed on the home front. Other Top West African players like Ghana’s trio of Barry Yaw, Augustine Manasseh, and Vincent Torgah are also on the cards to cause ripples.
Olagbenro, adds that entries are also expected from Cameroun, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire other West and Central African countries.

“The PGD Tour has made Nigeria a hub for professional golfers and the eTranzact Golf Classic is one of the key events on the Tour. So we expect some a thrilling outing at the eTranzact event this year.”
<![CDATA[May 16th, 2024]]>Thu, 16 May 2024 21:12:02 GMThttp://titansportsnig.com/news/may-16th-2024
The second eTranzact Classic billed to tee off at IBB International Golf and Country Club holds more than a share of the N20 million purse at stake, the event may crown a new number one for the Nigeria Professional Golfing Class.
Francis Epe, the current leader of Nigeria’s professional golf ranking, is also the defending champion of the prestigious eTranzact title. He is, however, condemned to a top finish to retain his spot on the ranking log.
According to Niyi Toluwalope, Managing Director of eTranzact, “These young Nigerians are full of potential. We are proud to have created this platform for them to showcase their potential. This is our vision, that like the Super Fintech that we are, to always promote healthy and innovative competition that will drive the country forward.”
Top among contenders for Nigeria’s leader of the order of merit spot from the event include Olapade Sunday, currently ranked behind Epe, and coming from a fourth-place finish at the Cameroun Open last weekend. Others include youngster Okoko Godwin, former Nigeria number one, Kamalu Bako, Kabiru Haruna Mohammaed, Marcus Elisha, and George Inalegwu.
There are also top entries from West African countries, especially Ghana PGA players including Bary Yaw, Augustine Manasseh, and Kofi Owusu.
The 54-hole challenge runs on the platform of the Professional Golf Development (PGD) Tour, which is in its second season.
Femi Olagbenro, PDG Tour Commissioner said the eTranzact event fulfills the objective of the Tour in helping source professional golf events and keeping the abundant golf talent in the country engaged.
“This year we have staged three events on the PGD Tour, and the eTranzact is the latest. We are glad at the impact the event is making. Today the Nigeria circuit has become very dynamic because of the flair that PGD Tour has brought to the fore.”
One hundred and eighty-five professionals, category one and club amateur players have entered the event and billed for the 54-hole contest starting from Wednesday, May 15 to Friday, May 19, 2024.
The event will have a mid-way cut after 36 holes, where the top 30 in the professional category will proceed to the classification round along with club amateurs on Friday, May 17, 2024.
<![CDATA[​#NOGIG 2024: NNPC show class as LOC chair express excitement]]>Fri, 03 May 2024 03:55:02 GMThttp://titansportsnig.com/news/nogig-2024-nnpc-show-class-as-loc-chair-express-excitement

By; Sunny Canto

In a week-long sporting activities that was climax with Athletics and Football matches, the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games also, known as NOGIG thrilled spectators including dignitaries in Abuja.

Excitedly, the 19th edition has live up to expectations despite the delay due to COVID-19 pandemic, thereby keeping the followers in anticipation before commencing this year 2024 event at MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

However, the thirteen companies that feature with One Thousand, Five Hundred athletes did competed fairly and fiercely.

Team NNPC who emerge overall winner with 50 medals; won 20 gold, 9 silver, 21 bronze while NLNG amass 14 gold, 13 silver, 11 bronze placed second as third place Shell got 7 gold, 6 silver, 9 bronze.

Speaking to Press men, (LOC chair), Dr. Ifeanyiwa Mojo-Eyes said, "I'm so overwhelmed with our excellent performance, we'll not stop here because it's indeed a milestone achievement that we anticipate; now a reality" 

Adding, "I played Golf, did a Tea-off, and it was so exciting, encouraging, fitness fill, though its full of technics and discipline but everyone can play" she added.

Earlier in her Speech, "Well, as a proud participant, I'm welcoming fellow Contingents, Partners, Stakeholders to 19th edition of NOGIG as we celebrate sportsmanship, camaraderie theme: "Empower Wellness, Ignite Productivity, will promote athletic prowess and deepens the connections within our vibrant industry also, let's continue the legacy, elevate it to new heights"

Coach Neked Wire aka Emeji Sunday, tactics gave his fourteen man (Volleyball) team a gold medal against Shell opponent, while Oluwadamilola Adisa won gold in (Squash) Women single, others gold in team event as Apakama Chioma outstanding skills won them several laurels in Swimming.

Interestingly, Mrs. Ifeanyiwa Mojo-Eyes previously won gold in Poll-ball games, also competed in Volleyball. Besides her official busy schedules and LOC chair responsibility, the outspoken Women played Badminton, Golf; encourage other feminine participation.

Meanwhile, they narrowly loss in the Football semi-finals in Port-harcourt but recorded bronze medal aftermath penalty victories during the colorful closing ceremony.

The historical event which was talk of town, began with Table Tennis novelty match in the Opening ceremony at the indoor Sport Hall of package B, Stadium in Abuja  as Nigeria cultural heritage was display in the Mouthwatering closing.

Amazingly, team Aradel Holdings Plc that finished below the table got the 'Match Past' overall winner as NNPC showcased Rich Igbo heritage traditional attires, dance with so much enthusiasm and smile on their faces.

Dignitaries like former  House of Representatives Speaker; Honorable Yakubu Dogara, Former Plateau State Governor; Honorable Lalong; Senator John Enoh, Sport Minister; Fidel Pelpole; Senator Shehu Baba, FEAD Director, Mr. Olumide Bamiduro; among other Oil and Gas Industry sector leaders graced the remarkable event.

<![CDATA[​NOGIG 2024 SPDC golf winners, express delight, optimism]]>Tue, 30 Apr 2024 13:14:37 GMThttp://titansportsnig.com/news/nogig-2024-spdc-golf-winners-express-delight-optimism

Following the successful hosting of the year 2024 and 19th edition of Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games in Abuja; Dr. Nsika Ntia, (Captain) of Shell alongside his compatriot: Victor Longe exhort those who like golf.

In an exclusive interview with www.titansportsnig.com, "I feel elated about winning and our team milestone achievements, but selection process is quite rigorous; although we've hosted many championship in Shell that yielded victories" he affirm.

"We're admonishing everyone who play or intend to join the global recognized Sport to put the right rudiment and despline in advancing the game" 

Dr. Nsika told us, "It's fulfilling moment seeing my effort as a Leader resulting into winning medals and laurels; adding, the facilities here in Abuja are better, easy logistics movement, commendable job from LOC, MOC; ofcourse it can be improve on in subsequent edition" Ntia said.

On the other hand, renown Shell Champion: Victor Longe dedicated his excellent performance to his teammates, advising those playing the game that's intriguing to keep developing the Grassroot Athletes.

Meanwhile, the SPDC Champion that excitedly lifted the trophy with his Captain, recalled leaving Football to begin a career in golf three years ago; urging more participation in the game that despline, unity people and bring out the best in them.

"Let me give a shout out to my Football friends, who are always supporting me in Golf. Like to appreciate Dr. Nsika Ntia as my Captain with tremendous contribution, ideas in the game" he told.

"We're hosting the President Cup soon, especially to encouraging the young ones which is our target, including those who have keenly interest in the Sport" Longe concluded.

"The Niger Delta Youth Empowerment Golf Scheme Initiative is to promote those who don't have enough resources in participating because erroneously people think it's elite and rich only Sport but with the right information, access, everyone can play"

"Our program will run for three years, giving total support for those with the proficiency, zeal, abilities of playing the game; in order to foster their dreams" Nsika add.

The wisdom filled Golfers, advice their NOGIG counterparts to emulate a non-bias process selection that worked for them, keep the process of Sportsmanship while competing and remain focus.

In a nutshell, Igniting Productive through Wellness is the 2024 NOGIG theme; Dr. Osagie Okunbor (MD), "We're thrilled to celebrate the long-awaited return of the games aftermath COVID-19 pandemic in showcasing our athletic spirit within our industry.

<![CDATA[​Abuja in Agog as NOGIG opening ceremony begin with style]]>Mon, 22 Apr 2024 07:00:00 GMThttp://titansportsnig.com/news/abuja-in-agog-as-nogig-opening-ceremony-begin-with-style
 By Sunny Canto 

The much anticipated 2024 Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games (NOGIG) was flag of on Sunday with team Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), turning out in glamour, pomp at the opening ceremony of the games in Abuja.

However, this year NOGIG titled ‘Empower Wellness, Ignite Productivity officially commence with colorful opening ceremony as participants took oath of commitment while team NNPCL outstanding performance thrill the massive audience.

Incredibly, the remarkable March past event by the 13 companies was entertaining as 1,500 participants dance, exchange pleasantries while Vice Chairman of Chevron, Mr Chido Okoli declared the games open to a very loud applause.

“The aim is to promote healthy workforce that will be productive at all times and give its best to its employer,

“Let go out and compete and have fun and most especially do it safely.

“We appreciate all the organizers, companies, executives that made it here today and want to encourage all to enjoy and would be expecting all on Saturday for the closing ceremony, ” he concluded.

On his part, Olutayo Akande, the Head of Technical Committee stressed that this year is different from the past editions.

“This is the first time of taking the athletes oaths. I will recite and athletes recite after me.

“The oaths “At the 19th editions of NOGIG, I pledged to take part in the sporting events; respectful and abiding by the rules that governing them.

“In the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the honor of our industries, while empowering wellness and igniting productivity. So help me God.”

He said that the reasons for the oaths is because we needed every individual participant to commit to what we want them to be this time around.

“Certainly, there are medals but we don’t want participant doing beyond just participating in getting the medals. We will play fair and get our medals cleanly,” he told.

Meanwhile, Senior Human Resources Manager for Policy and Employee, Seplat Energy, Obiageli Ezeoke, said that the game should continue to progress, more companies to come up to participates and increase the numbers of games.

The reports that the companies taking part in the games include; NNPCL, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

Others are; Nigeria Liquified National Gas (NLNG) the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Nigerian Downstream and Midstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Total Energies, Aradel, Seplat Energy and Oando.

The 13 games include; Football, Badminton, Basketball, Volleyball, Golf, Tennis, Table-Tennis, Squash, Athletics, Swimming, Chess, 8-ball pool and Scrabble.

In summary, the games began at Eket (Akwa Ibom) State in 1986, but www.titansportsnig.com reports that the Championship started on Sunday and will climax on April 27th at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja will be memorable.

<![CDATA[​NOGIG 2024: Set to commence 19th edition in Abuja as 1,500 Athletes, 13 Sports will be showcase]]>Wed, 17 Apr 2024 07:00:00 GMThttp://titansportsnig.com/news/nogig-2024-set-to-commence-19th-edition-in-abuja-as-1500-athletes-13-sports-will-be-showcase

By: Sunny Canto

Following the successful hosting of NNPC sports fiesta few months ago, the annual (Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games), LOC, MOC have held a Press briefing today at Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja.

According to LOC chairman (Dr.) Mrs. Ifeanyiwa Mojo-Eyes "We're looking forward to reform, revive the Oil and Gas Industry Games through this 19th edition, because 1,500 Athletes have registered to participate In 13 Sports" she told.

"Shockingly, in 1986, we began with Two Companies: NNPC and ExxonMobil as Squash was played among other sporting activities but NNPC, Shell, Total Energy, NCDMB, NMDPRA, NUPRC, ARADEL, Oando, Seplat, NLNG, Chevron, PTI, ExxonMobil will be vying for laurels and honors in Thirteen different sports; while Athletics, Golf, Chess, Football, Table Tennis, Scrabble, Tennis, Badminton, Volleyball, Swimming, Basketball, Squash among other games will be completed for.

Meanwhile, the various teams and Athletes participating from above mentioned companies, are training intensively for the games that is billed to hold from 21st-27th April, 2024 at Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

"Trophies, medal and gifts will be awarded to the participants at the end of the Games.
This is an event we are all looking forward to. An event that is bringing the entire oil and gas industry together.

The Games with the theme "Empower Wellness, Ignite Productivity" according to Mojo-Eyes is aimed at promoting healthy workforce that will be productive at all times and give its best to its employer. She added solid security and medical arrangements have been put in place for the athletes and the officials coming for the event. "We are expecting a lot of people across the Parastatals and we are in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports Development. So, we are inviting the Minister of Sports, Senator John Owan Enoh, the Minister of FCT, the Minister of Petroleum (Oil) and the Minister of Petroleum (Gas) and all leaders in the oil and gas sector.

However, we have put in place top-notch security and medical arrangements for the participants and those that will be coming for the Games. Also, the media are also not left out. The major objective (of the Games) is for us to come together, synergize, network and most importantly is the health benefits. 

In a nutshell, we tagged this year's event: "Empower Wellness, Ignite Productivity". We cannot overemphasized the health benefits of sports to human beings. A healthy workforce or a healthy nation is the best because you get the best from the employees and it gives you the best of results" she finalized.

<![CDATA[Ghana's Minister for Youth and Sports Development Advocates for Increased Investment in Sports Across West Africa]]>Mon, 11 Mar 2024 20:37:25 GMThttp://titansportsnig.com/news/ghanas-minister-for-youth-and-sports-development-advocates-for-increased-investment-in-sports-across-west-africa

Ghana's Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mustapha Ussif has called upon West African nations to ramp up their investments in sports infrastructure and development to emulate the success achieved by North African countries in the realm of sports. Minister Ussif made these remarks during the ongoing African Games, where Egypt and Algeria currently dominate the medals table, with Tunisia and Morocco also amongst the top 10.

Highlighting the importance of strategic investments in sports, Minister Ussif emphasized that Ghana is on the brink of a new era where substantial investments in sports will yield tangible results across the country. He stressed that for West Africa to compete at the highest levels and achieve greater success, it is imperative for governments and stakeholders to prioritize sports development.

Minister Ussif outlined key areas where investments are crucial for the advancement of sports in the region. These include Infrastructure -  to develop state-of-the-art sports facilities and stadiums to provide athletes with world-class training and competition venues. He also said grassroots development is also important as investing in grassroots programs to identify and nurture young talent from a grassroots level will ensure a sustainable pipeline of future champions.

Ussif added that more high-performance training centers equipped with cutting-edge technology and expert coaching staff are desired to enhance the performance of elite athletes. Also, enhancing sports medicine facilities and services to ensure the health and well-being of athletes, as well as to expedite recovery and rehabilitation processes are necessary.

Minister Ussif stressed that by prioritizing these areas of investment, West African nations can create an enabling environment for athletes to excel on the international stage, just as their North African counterparts have demonstrated.

As Ghana enters this new dispensation of sports development, Minister Ussif reaffirmed the government's commitment to investing in sports infrastructure and programs that will empower athletes and contribute to the nation's sporting success.
<![CDATA[9th Confederation of Africa Canoe Sprint Championship/Continental Olympic Qualification To  Paris 2024]]>Tue, 05 Dec 2023 20:24:51 GMThttp://titansportsnig.com/news/9th-confederation-of-africa-canoe-sprint-championshipcontinental-olympic-qualification-to-paris-2024

It is often said that the journey of thousand miles begins with one step. However, a step is not just good enough nowadays but “steps in the right direction”. The challenges of completing any task sometimes may kill the dreams of fulfillment at birth. Determination and resilience are essentials if a task is to be completed, hence the end justifies the means.

The just ended 9th CAC Canoe Sprint Championship/Continental Qualifiers to the Olympic Games in Paris hosted by Nigeria remains the best. Despite the challenges encountered on the already bumpy road of preparation, the fact that fourteen  of the eighteen countries which signed up for the championship competed with their Nigeria counterparts signposts success. Four other countries could not participate due to financial challenges in their country. While most of them were coming to Nigeria for the first time, it should be noted that they were not in the country for social parade but a keen contest in eight available slots for the Paris Olympic Games next summer. Top rated African countries in Canoe-Tunisia, South Africa, Morocco- alongside Egypt, Mozambique, Angola, Ghana, São Tomé & Principe, Seychelles, Senegal and Nigeria presented canoeists in C1 200 meters Women , C2 500 meters Women , C1 1000 meters Men , C2 500 meters Men, K1 1000 meters Men, K2 500 meters Men, K1 500 meters Women, K2 500 meters Women. 

Lest we forget, Nigeria had secured the hosting rights for the championship in July after International Canoe Federation President, Thomas Konietzko expressed satisfaction with the facilities and organization of Admiral Porbeni  Africa Boat Championship where team Nigeria emerged overall champions. This afforded the opportunity to use familiar terrain to secure global spots. In retrospect, often times, raising funds to prepare athletes for international qualifying events has never been an easy task. The hosting rights not only helped Nigeria save cost but also improve on its organization and development of the sport’s facilities. It is noteworthy, through international collaboration and efforts by President, Nigeria Rowing, Canoe and Sailing Federation,  Boat championships have gained prominence in Nigeria in the last decade. The inclusion of the sport in National Sports Festivals and National Youth Games schedules is an acknowledgment of its importance.

From Slalom expert, Jonathan Akinyemi at the 2012 London Olympics through Rowing Queen Chierika Ukogu at the 2016 Rio Games and Canoe’s next global stars , Ayomide Bello & Esther Toko at the Tokyo Olympics, the sport has grown with its sprout connected to a solid grassroots foundation.
In the face of limited sponsorship and inadequate funding, Admiral Festus Porbeni and his board members continue to source for funds to keep the sport sailing. For instance, through tested and trusted collaborations, Nigeria attracted renowned World Canoe Boats manufacturer-Nelo- to donate canoe equipment. First is to aid competition at the Olympic qualifiers, second is to build capacity of facilities at the national boat centre in Abuja which had commenced manufacturing made-in-Nigeria boats in 2022. The Nigeria Rowing, Canoe and Sailing Federation did not only pay for the shipment of the equipment to Lagos from Portugal, it is currently holding negotiations to permanently buy the boats at a reduced price. Upon arrival at the ports, the equipment were delayed due to bureaucratic bottlenecks. Even when the Minister of Sports Development Senator John Enoh and his counterpart in the ministry of finance alongside the Comptroller General of Customs intervened, saboteurs of constituted authorities still attempted to frustrate the process. Delay is not denial, the boats arrived six days late to the venue of its intended use. No thanks to the actions of Nigeria Port officials. It is noteworthy that the smallest Nelo-made boat which measures 5.2 meters has a least cost of 3,000 USD; when calculated by 15 units , the total price to be paid at the current exchange rate of dollar to naira is best imagined. Yet, the Federation is not resting on its oars until it secures these boats for use by Canoeists in Nigeria .

For an Olympic sport that has six categories in Canoe Slalom,    ten categories in Canoe Sprint and fourteen in Rowing , Nigeria surely has a greater chance of multiple podium finishes at the Olympics. Since Nigeria’s first medal at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, Nigeria has won 27 medals(3 gold, 11 silver and 13 bronze). Why not invest in Rowing and Canoe? Although, Esther Toko, Beauty Otuedo, Ayomide Bello and more, are expected to qualify, the sport offers rays of optimism of Olympic Medals in Paris and latter Olympics than any other sport in Nigeria. A fraction of funds channeled to other team events in the 59 year history of Olympic participation would not only qualify Nigeria into all 30 categories of the sport at the Olympics, but , enhance chances of more medals. Just a reminder, Nigeria has an enviable coastal lines and riverine areas where citizen use inherent strength to paddle canoe for fishing, transport and other daily activities on water. 2024 Paris Games are so close but the 2028 Games in Los Angeles will be a perfect time for Nigeria to upset the apple cart and assert that it is the new force in Rowing and Canoe.

Lest we forget, the Jabi Lake is artificial. Initially built to generate electricity for the FCT. After series of negotiations and paper work, a portion of the 13square kilometer landmark was released to the Federation for the purpose of developing Rowing and Canoe . The challenges of coping with activities of fun seekers, indigent fishermen,  , water stunt experts , and of course, scavengers, wanderers who constitute nuisance on and around the lake are constant headaches for administrators of the sport to cope with. The buoys, well laid on the lanes at a huge cost, suffer regular damages by activities of these individuals who are very difficult to persuade and manage. 

The attention of the Federation was drawn to the negative publication in some quarters on events heralding the final day of the CAC  Africa Canoe Sprint Championship/Continental Qualifiers for Olympic Games . It should be stated that the heavy downpour on Saturday, November 25 and early hours of Sunday November 26, washed off all structures set up for a befitting final. Within six hours of concerted efforts, the stage was set again. This was not devoid of some damages which could not be reversed in days. Should we have stopped the final and suffer sanctions from the international body who had its officials on ground or manage the situation at hand? It is rather unfortunate that those who concentrated energy on publicizing  flashes of uncontrollable circumstances at the championship could have done better rather than a bias in reportage. At a day and age when anybody with a smart phone can easily make a video of anything, it is apt that professionalism should prevail. If efforts directed to displaying the positives in our dear country Nigeria are ongoing at different levels , what joy do we derive in pulling down our fabrics in a public space well monitored by haters of the country, enemies of  Nigeria and those who concentrate on 1% fault despite 99% successful actions? We  call on those who have attempted to discredit the voluntary commitment to develop Rowing and Canoe in Nigeria to join hands and make the sport better. Our windows are open for information backed up with facts and figures. Our transparent approach, dedication and resilience are our pillars of strength. We will not be deterred, neither will we succumb. Maturity and common sense should prevail with objective reportage rather than misleading the public. In the midst of this, Nigeria hosted the the International Canoe Federation coaches course in Abuja with participants from Angola, Mozambique São Tomé and Principe, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana and Seychelles. This is in addition to the certification of International Technical Officials  who are now set to take up roles at tournaments sanctioned by the International Canoe Federation (ICF). Should we not be proud of this? 

Lest we forget, International Canoe Federation President Thomas Konietzko, Confederation of Africa Canoe President Joao Manuel Da Costa Alfonso Alegre, top echelon of World Canoe Federation joined Sports Development Minister Senator John Enoh and Admiral Festus Porbeni for this historic event. History will never be forgotten. Pictures do not lie,facts cannot be disputed, Nigerians cannot continue to harp on one-off things when multiple things to celebrate abound. 

According to President, Nigeria Rowing, Canoe and Sailing Federation, Admiral Festus Porbeni, mni CFR 

“ As long as I live,  even when I’m gone, as I have instructed my estate managers, this sport will continue to grow until Nigeria becomes a global force. World Championships and Olympic medals will become our birth rights in this sport .  It will surely happen but before then, let all hands be on deck”

Lest we forget, we cannot attract what we attack, let us all join hands and support Nigeria Rowing, Canoe and Sailing Federation efforts to crest Nigeria’s name in gold.