By Asma’u Ahmad
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday urged private organisations to partner with the state government in its various community development projects.
Ambode made the call at the inauguration of remodeled Araromi Youth Development and Sports Centre donated by the Coca Cola Nigeria in Gbagada area of Lagos.
The governor, represented by his Deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, said that community development project should not be considered as the sole responsibility of government.
”We are appealing to corporate organisations to borrow a leaf from Coca Cola by sponsoring other developmental projects in the state.
”Our administration is committed to continually provide the enabling business environment that will guarantee quick returns on your investment,” he said.
Ambode said that the centre would provide a platform for positive engagement of youths and the discovery of talents who would in turn contribute to the growth of the economy.
He said that his administration was fully committed to the provision of sports parks and vocational facilities in public places to revive the community and school sports to take the sector to the next level.
”This is yielding results as our youths are now being meaningfully engaged in different communities.
“They are indirectly contributing to the society rather than roaming about or engaging in the acts of violence,” Ambode said.
The governor urged the community leaders and youths to ensure that public facilities and infrastructure were protected and maintained so as not to undermine the government’s efforts in sports development.
Managing Director, Coca Cola Nigeria, Mr Bhupendra Suri, said that the remodeling was part of the company’s corporate social responsibilities to promote football at the grassroots.
“Nigeria is blessed with lots of young talented sports athletes, but the opportunity to make some of them maximise their potential is in most cases non-existent.
“In a bid to help the country to further develop its grassroots sports, our organisation came up with the idea of upgrading selected football pitches across the country.
“This has helped to discover budding football talents as well as helped young players to have access to world class football training facilities in their communities,” he said.
Newsmen report that the deputy governor kicked the ball for the commencement of a novelty match.
It was played by some ex-players of the Super Eagles, including the former goal keeper, Peter Rufai, Celestine Babayaro, Victor Agali, Julius Aghahowa and Victor Ikpeba.