THE National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF), on Tuesday in Ilorin distributed sporting equipment worth millions of naira to 45 selected primary schools in the three Senatorial district of Kwara.
Alhaji Habu Gumel, the Executive Secretary of NLTF, said the distribution of equipment reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to advance grassroots sports development in the counrty.
He said the gesture was government’s clear demonstration of its desire to foster better inclusion of the most vulnerable segments of the society.
Gumel commended the state government for prioritising the development of youths and sports at the grassroots.
Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed, in his address, described the gesture by the fund as a remarkable contribution to sports development at the grassroots in the state.
Ahmed, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Mr Musa Yeketi, called on NLTF to sustain the effort.
The governor said his administration attached much importance to the development of sports, adding that the grassroots sports, however, required special attention.
He expressed delight over the commitment of Federal Government and the fund to cognitive development of the pupils in physical education and sports.
The Acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr Habiba Lawal, said President Muhammadu Buhari gave directive for the purchase of the the sports equipment.
“The President has instructed that the NLTF use the money in its custody for good causes such as this,’’ she said
Lawal, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Dr Amina Shanaki said NLTF had used 20 per cent of the money it generated through lottery activities to purchase the equipment.
She, however, said the projects to use the fund for had always been determined by government, in consultation with major stakeholders.
The Commissioner for Sport and Youth Development, Mr Kale Ayo, said the state was benefitted from the Federal Government’s gesture because of the state government’s investment in youth development through sports.
The Executive Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Ladi Hassan, said the state government approval of co-curricular activities in basic schools had enhanced physical education and sports development in schools.
He, however, called for the inclusion of students of junior secondary schools in the next distribution.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that eight primary schools from Kwara North, 16 from Kwara Central and 21 from Kwara South benefit ted from the exercise.
The equipment cut across the nine sporting events, athletics (track and field), football, badminton, Judo, basketball, table tennis, taekwondo and volleyball.