Akwa Ibom Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), to explore ways of possible review of the cash prize of twenty five million naira paid to winning team in the Aiteo Cup tournament, saying that the review would ginger teams to victory for participation in bigger competitions.
The Governor was speaking during a formal presentation of the 2017 Aiteo Trophy won by Akwa United Football Club to the State Executive Council Members by the Commissioner for Youth And Sports, Sir Monday Ebong Uko.
He was of the opinion that the cash prize should reflect the country’s indices in terms of population which is about 170 million and as the sixth world’s largest produer of crude oil, adding that smaller countries have better offer for their National competitions than what is obtainable in the country which he said was about sixty seven thousand dollars.
According to him, “The cash prize of twenty five million naira is too meagre for a national competition. The amount is about sixty seven thousand dollars. I want to believe they will look into it and effect a review.
We don’t want to mention prize money for the NFF but let it be compatible to a country with 170 million people, the sixth largest producer of crude oil. Today the Cup is won by the state that is the largest producer of crude oil. These are indices that come to play when we mention countries of repute. Smaller countries pay more than this in their national competitions.”
He attributed the exploits to team spirit, hardwork, dedication and commended as well as congratulated the Ministry of Youth and Sports particularly the Commissioner, Sir Monday Uko, Technical crew as well as the Ibom Angels team which emerged runner-up in the Female Aiteo tournament and Akwa United Football Club for securing victory in the 2016 and 2017 Aiteo Football competition saying that they have done the state proud.
“This is a sign of seriouness, hardwork and dedication. It shows that when the passion is right nothing is impossible. I want to really congratulate the management of the team, coaches, Board Of the NFF and everybody who contributed to the success of Akwa United Football Club. It is one thing to give the support another thing for the man in the race to take up the challenge and finish as the winner. He emphasized.”
Governor Emmanuel acknowledged that the state has carved a niche for itself in the area of sports development having secured victories in various outings and hosting of International competitions, stressing that the feat was recorded due to sacrifices made in terms of time, facilities, infrastructure, hospitality of the people and expressed delight that the sacrifices have launched the country into limelights having qualified for Russia 2018 World Cup.
“… I can proudly say that we threw in all that we needed to come out with success – our time, finances, facilities, infrastructure and hospitality of the people. We ensured that Nigeria qualified for the World Cup and I want to thank Akwa Ibom people for supporting the country that much. Success has so many friends but failure is an orphan. Today we’re celebrating success and we have a lot of goodwill messages comming in. I thank God and say a big congratulation to the people. He stated ”
Earlier, the Youth And Sports Commissioner, Sir Monday Uko who presented the trophy and a Zenith Bank cheque of twenty five million naira won by Akwa United Football Club, expressed appreciation to Governor Emmanuel for his support and motivational steps taken to ginger the two teams to victory.
He said that the Governor in his tenure has created indelible impacts in the area of sports, explaining that earlier in the year, the state came out 2nd in the National Youth Sports Festival held at Kwara State, the female team “Ibom Angels” played to the finals of the Aiteo Cup tournament and emerged 2nd attracting 5million naira while Akwa United Football team has made history for emerging 1st position in the 2016 and 2017 Federation Cup.
The presentation was witnessed by Secretary to the State Government Sir Etekamba Umoren, Head of Civil Service Mrs Ekerebong Akpan and members of the State Executive Council.