Kano state government has given 28 brand new cars (Kia Picanto) to players of Kano Pillars Football Club, while 13 other members of the team got N .5 million, totalling N7.25 million.
The gift is in appreciation for winning the 1st position of the National Premier League in the 2012 season.
In the same vein, the government gave out cash ranging from N250, 000 to NN100, 000 to players and technical officials of Kano Basketball team, Kwankwasiyya Babes FC, Kano Para Soccer team and three other teams and athletes that won honours for the state in various national and international competitions last year.
Also, 15 football clubs from the state participating in different divisions of the National Amateur Football League this year received cash grants of N .5 million each, to enable them fulfill their league obligations.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony held at Africa House, Government House, Kano, the state governor, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso said the occasion is a significant step in efforts of the government to expand its horizon of youths empowerment through sports development, asserting that such efforts are yielding appreciable results.
With this scenario, he stated that “the government is now more geared to using sports to help youths to realize their fullest potentials, making it a veritable source of livelihood and a significant means of arresting youth restiveness and crimes”.
According to him, his administration is also taking sports to higher professional level by establishing a Sports Institute at Karfi and awarding contract for construction of the multi-billion Naira Kofar Na’isa Sports Complex, alongside a Sports College, in the state capital.
In this regard, governor Kwankwaso tasked sportsmen and women in the state to continue to aim for greater heights in their chosen sports as the government will encourage them. He added that the government is willing to work with relevant stakeholders to enhance its sport and youth development policies.
The governor, who used the occasion to present sports equipment worth millions of Naira, purchased by the government for selected secondary schools in Kano state, explained that the aim is to enhance physical and mental wellbeing of students and to nurture them into professional athletes that will become a pride to the nation.
In his speech, the Minister/Chairman National Sports Commission, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, represented by a director in the Commission, Mr. Gregory O. Iyogun, praised the government of Kano state for its efforts in the development of the sports sector, assuring of support.
On his part, the former Minster of Sports and Chairman, National Olympic Committee, NOC, Engr. Sani Ndanusa disclosed that the committee will soon sign a Memorandum of Understating with Kano Sports Institute, to enable it access facilities and expertise from international sports organizations.
In a related development, the NOC has decorated Governor Kwankwaso with a medal of honour for outstanding contribution to sports development in Nigeria.