Buhari sends Ambode, others to World Cup in Russia Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 28, 2021


President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, as a member of the Federal Government Delegation to the 2018 FIFA World Cup starting in Russia from June 14.

Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung who said this when he led a delegation from the International Paralympics Committee on a courtesy visit to Governor Ambode at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja on Thursday, said the appointment was in recognition of the massive investment and commitment to sports development which the Governor had exhibited in the last three years.

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); acknowledges cheers from some students, residents of Agric-Ishawo in Ikorodu during his inspection of the ongoing reconstruction of Agric-Ishawo Road on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right); Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Tawio Salaam (right); Project Manager, Fountain Construction Company, Engr. Robot Scot (middle) and Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau (2nd left); with the project plan of Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu-Igbe Road, Ikorodu during the Governor’s inspection of the ongoing construction of Ketu Multiple Bus Park and Laybys, on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left); Deputy Director, Projects, Ministry of Works, Engr. (Mrs) Abiola Kosegbe (left); Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Jimi Hotonu (middle); Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Adebowale Akinsanya (2nd right); Site Manager, Hitech Construction Company, Engr. Bay George Nehme (right) with the project plan of Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu-Igbe Road, Ikorodu during the Governor’s inspection of Projects in Ikorodu Axis, on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwola Onasanya (3rd right); Managing Director, CIBA Construction Company, Mr. Josaih Samuel (2nd right); Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Tawio Salaam (right); his counterpart in Ministry of Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Jimi Hotonu (3rd left); Special Adviser to the Governor, Finance & Audit Control, Mr. Adeniyi Popoola (2nd left) and Partner, FAO Consulting International Limited, Engr. Demola Amore (left) during the Governor’s inspection of the Rice Mill and Industrial Park in Imota, Ikorodu, on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd right); Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwola Onasanya (2nd right); ); his counterpart in Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Tawio Salaam (right); Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau (middle); Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Jimi Hotonu (3rd left); Partner, FAO Consulting International Limited, Engr. Demola Amore (2nd left) and Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Adebowale Akinsanya (left) during the Governor’s inspection of the Rice Mill and Industrial Park in Imota, Ikorodu, on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

While handing over the letter of appointment to the Governor, Dalung said Lagos had been home to sports, and that it was gratifying that Governor Ambode had repositioned sports as a catalyst for development and growth in the State.

“Your Excellency, I want to inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has approved you as one of the members of the Federal Government Delegation that would be leading and representing him and other Nigerians in Russia at the World Cup.

“The President’s approval of you as a member of that delegation is borne out of the conviction that you have been one of the Governors that have invested heavily in sports and also supported Sports.

“Lagos is home to sports and so we are always here. We are always here because of the very friendly environment and a good relationship the Ministry enjoys with the Lagos State Government and the fraternity of the government and people of Lagos is one of the major reasons why we will often visit the Governor when the occasion demands,” Dalung said.

He said the high-powered delegation from the International Paralympics Committee led by Mr Sam Munkley was at Lagos House as part of the bid by Nigeria to host the International Paralympics Championship in Lagos come 2019, saying apart from conducting training for Nigerian Paralympics association and stakeholders, the delegation would also inspect the facilities to be used when the country gets the hosting right for the tournament.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right), with Manager, World Para Powerlifting Competition, Mr. Sam Munkley (left); Development Coordinator, World Para Powerlifting, Mr. Dillion Richardson (right) and Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung (2nd left) during a courtesy visit by the Sports Minster and delegation from the International Paralympics Committee at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), presents a souvenir to Manager, World Para Powerlifting Competition, Mr. Sam Munkley (left) while Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung (middle) watches with admiration during a courtesy visit by the Sports Minster and delegation from the International Paralympics Committee at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right); Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung (2nd right); Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Kweku Tandoh (2nd left) and Manager, World Para Powerlifting Competition, Mr. Sam Munkley (left) during a courtesy visit by the Sports Minster and delegation from the International Paralympics Committee at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, June 7, 2018. Behind them are Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Youth & Social Development, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunla (right); Commissioner for Youth & Social Development, Mr. Agboola Dabiri (2nd right) and his counterpart for Special Duties & Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo (3rd right).

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), presents a souvenir to Manager, World Para Powerlifting Competition, Mr. Sam Munkley (2nd left) while Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung (2nd right) and President, Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation, Mrs. Queen Ubah (left), watch with admiration during a courtesy visit by the Sports Minster and delegation from the International Paralympics Committee at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), being presented with a T-shirt by Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung during a courtesy visit by the Sports Minster and delegation from the International Paralympics Committee at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, June 7, 2018. With them: President, Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation, Mrs. Queen Ubah (left); Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Kweku Tandoh (2nd left); Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Youth & Social Development, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunla (right behind) and Commissioner for Special Duties & Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo (middle behind).

Responding, Governor Ambode thanked President Buhari for appointing him into FG’s delegation to the World Cup, saying that with the morale and physical support for the Super Eagles, Nigerians would be made proud at the end of the day.

He specifically allayed fears in some quarters over the losing streak suffered by the team in some of the friendly matches played in preparation for the tournament, insisting that the succession of defeats to Atletico Madrid, England and Czech Republic were part of the strategy to understand the areas to concentrate on in having a well-rounded team.

“With our morale and physical support, Nigerians would be made proud and I am sure people should not bother about what they are seeing with the friendly matches; they are supposed to be friendlies and I am sure the team will put all their energy and make Nigeria proud,” Governor Ambode said.

He said sports, being the engine room for development, would continue to be accorded the pride of place, just as he reiterated commitment to support sports development and create enabling environment for sports to thrive in Lagos and by extension in Nigeria.

While describing the visit of the delegation as timely, the Governor pledged his personal commitment and support of the State Government to ensuring that Nigeria gets the hosting right for the International Paralympics Championship, and also invest more in sports.

“Lagos State is ready and committed to host the championship. We have done so much in the area of sports and also sports for people with disabilities and this is part of our overall vision to use sports to develop the city itself.

“There is so much construction going on and this is also part of that whole concept to create the enabling environment to allow people to move easily and also create platform for tourism and also to use sports as means of building that bonding that we really need,” the Governor said.

He said as part of the efforts to create enabling environment for the youth population in the State, the State Government was currently reconstructing the Onikan Stadium, while a groundbreaking of the Maracana Stadium in Ajegunle would be performed in few weeks.

Earlier, Munkley thanked Governor Ambode for the hospitality accorded his delegation, saying they had never received such from any country before now.

“We have worked closely with the Nigeria Paralympics Federation over the last days to host a very fruitful workshop and the input has been amazing. The talent that you have for power Paralympics here in Nigeria makes your people and the federation proud. Thank you for taking time to meet with us today; we look forward to doing more facility tour and working with you to host a power Paralympics competition here in Lagos State,” Munkley said.

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