The Acting Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, has asked Guinness Nigeria Plc for help in developing sports in the state.
Shaibu made the proposal on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, during a courtesy visit to Government House in Benin City by the company’s management, led by the Managing Director, Baker Magunda.
Shaibu praised Guinness Nigeria Plc for its contributions to the state’s other sectors, particularly employment development, and asked the Magunda-led management to offer the same support to sports.
He said: “I thank Guinness for its belief in our State and commitment to our State to be able to invest all that it has invested in our State. I am also happy to hear about the scholarship schemes and the community service that you have rendered.
“We would like to have you sponsor most of our programs, especially in the area of sports. You can see that the easiest way we can deal with youth restiveness and unemployment is by engaging them.
“We took statistics in sports and the number of youths that we can get out of the labor market. When we checked all the segments, we looked at football, table tennis, lawn tennis, 15 sports in all, and we discovered that if we have State-sponsored leagues in these 15 sporting events, we will be taking out about 6,500 young men and women that will be competing directly in various sports.”
Shaibu added: “We also looked at the workforce, those that will service these games, we had another 2500 people. That’s the coaches and assistant coaches. Then we looked at those that will be working on the corridors, the technical teams and the rest.
“Just to have this State league alone, you will discover we can have a minimum of 20,000 young men and women, minus the service personnel that will be there.
“If we get 20000 direct jobs, just in sports, what of the multiplier effect – those that will be selling some of these products, your products that are associated with sports, the merchandise sales etc?
“When you check the multiplier effects, you will discover that, not only will the economy grow, but you would have created jobs, direct and indirect jobs for almost 50,000 people just from creating State-sponsored leagues. So we would like to have Guinness on board.”
The Acting Governor informed his guests that the State government is bringing back lawn tennis, “We are bringing back one of our iconic sports that gave this State a very wide label name in the whole world – Ogbe Hard Court.
“We would like Guinness to take advantage of the branded Ogbe Hard Court to also brand Guinness, and we have a full package.
“You can brand the entire court with Guinness and the different products; and all the names that we have put there; we can change it to Guinness just to let you have a platinum sponsorship. Ogbe Hard Court is not just a national event, it is an international event.
“In earnest, we are starting these 15 sports from January next year. We are commencing the flashy programs in all the 15 sports. So I would like you to take that to your management, and have it in your program for next year.”
He restated that the “Our cardinal focus is to make sure that the private sector drives Edo State’s economy, especially when you have a private sector man as Governor.
“So you should know that the thinking of the government now is to reposition the government to do its work; its purpose is to create an environment for businesses to thrive, and that’s what we have been doing for the past five years, and we will continue to do that.”
The Guinness Managing Director had earlier stated that the visit’s goal was to inform the Acting Governor of the company’s accomplishments and recent State-related developments in terms of CSR, including scholarship schemes, water and environmental programmes, clean energy programmes, and the launch of Captain Morgan, the company’s newest product.