The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has vowed his administration’s commitment to the development of sports in the state.
The Governor gave the assurance at the closing ceremony of the National Hockey Super League Final between Niger Flickers Hockey Club and Police Machine at the Hockey Pitch, National Stadium, Abuja, where Niger Flickers won the league after beating Police Machine team by 1-0 on Saturday.
Bello said Niger State is home of hockey and expressed optimism that the state will continue to dominate in the hockey game in Nigeria, saying he was not surprised that the state hockey team won the championship.
“Niger state own hockey and we will continue to own hockey in this country. Kontagora where I come from is the cradle of hockey in Niger State,” said Bello.
He disclosed that the state was at the verge of awarding a contract for the construction of a modern Sports Complex, urging youths in the state to engage in sports and that the state government will do its best to ensure that they excel in sports.
The Governor then doled out N2 million to Niger Flickers and N1 million to the Police Machine as part of Niger State Government’s effort to boost morale of the teams and support the development of Hockey in the country.
Earlier, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, charged Bello to invest in Hockey and make the state a home of hockey in Nigeria and appealed to all state governors to invest in sport development.
Also in his remarks, the President, Nigeria Hockey Federation, Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, described Bello as the bedrock of Hockey in Nigeria, disclosing that the governor had made it possible for the state hockey team to represent the country in Africa Hockey Clubs championship.
Niger Flickers defeated Police Machine in a keenly contested and tension-soaked encounter.
Flickers’ Captain, Danladi Umar, scored the only goal of the encounter in the fourth quarter of the game, and with which it qualifies to represent Nigeria in the African Hockey Clubs Championship in Egypt later this year.