By Alexander Johnson Adejoh And Ukeje Precious Ihunanya
Over N1.5 billion is expected to be made as revenue from this year’s 2020 Nigeria Police Games by the host State, Anambra, according to Governor Willie Obiano.
Chief Obiano who made this known in his address at the opening ceremony of the 12th Nigeria Police Games which took place last Saturday 29 February, 2020, at Alex Ekweme Square, Awka, said the sum would be made through commercial activities that would last for the seven days of the festival.
Obiano who welcomed everyone to Anambra State, said, ‘When the story of the new Anambra State is told, the Nigeria Police Force will occupy an enviable position as incredible partners of the state. This is the first national festival that would take place in the state and this is the first Police Games in the Southeast.
‘Through history, sports has played a major role in closing the gaps between people and strengthening the ties that bind us as a nation. Sports has a way to unite people and create hope where there was only despair.
‘In accepting to host this event our expectations are considerably high. First we are sending a loud signal to the world, on the other hand we are also looking at the economic impact that this games will have on our businesses in our state.
‘I was reliably informed that over 8, 000 police men and women are in our dear state for the duration of this games, these people will need goods and services.
‘In clear terms, hosting this games is expected to bring over 1.5 billion naira fresh money into our Anambra economy,’ Obiano said.
Obiano further explained that the festival was aimed at fostering the good relationship between the state and the Nigeria Police, adding that the facilities already put in place for the festival had gone a long way in improving sports and sporting facilities in the area.
President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi, thanked Governor Obiano for hosting and sponsoring an event of such magnitude.
‘I listened attentively to the remarks of the Inspector General of Police and I am inspired by his comments on the objectives of the games and the great feat that officers of the Nigeria Police Force have recorded in the field of sports.
‘This event could not have come at a better time than now that our dear nation is faced with some internal security threats that require physically fit, mentally sound, and professionally competent officers to mitigate,’ Buhari said.
The event which was anchored by Nollywood Star, Bob Manual Udokwu, had performances by the ijele masquerade, Harrysong and Flavor.
The Minister of Youths and Sports, Honorable Sunday Dare; the Governor of Ebonyi State, represented by his Deputy; the Governor of Enugu State, represented by the SSG; the Chairman Police Service Commission, represented by CP Olayinka Balogun Rtd.; the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammad Adamu Abubakar; the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Alhaji Ibrahim Magu; the Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly; the SSG to the Anambra State Government; National Chairman of APGA, Victor Oye; traditional rulers, retired Inspector General of Police, among others, were dignitaries that graced the opening ceremony of the 2020 Nigeria Police Games.