*N2.5billion to be spent on sports this year
Governor Nyesom Wike has already raised a new vista with the return of the Rivers State Sports festival after a 10-year break which is what informed a budget of N2.5billion for sports development in the 2018 budget.
Disclosing this in a speech he delivered at the one-day media programme organised to expose journalists to the new laws of wrestling in Port Harcourt is the Sports Commissioner, Hon Boma Iyaye, who said, “when we came on board, we inherited debts running into N1.8billion which the governor paid. Athletes were owed salaries, sign on fees, rewards from representing the state in the Ekpo National Sports Festival
Since his ascension to office, Governor Nyesom Wike, has consistently funded the industry part of the efforts was the hosting and funding of the Nyesom Wike National Wrestling championship last year and the African Wrestling championship in a few days now.
The state government has put together a fantastic management structure that will make the Real Madrid soccer academy programme for the poor but talented children in the state to be so beneficial.
Iyaye told the gathering that, “our plan for school sports is not on the fire brigade plan which our nation is known for.
He added that, “Rivers United FC is the only NPFL club with a shirt sponsorship. Their sponsors have relieved the government of such level of funding support. There is still another private funding option coming soon for the club. Abroad, these companies do well for the sports industry.
We believe in private funding of sports in h state, the African Wrestling championship has the backing of Access Bank and Zenith Bank. Sports is the best employer of youths to curb criminal and restiveness.