By Richard Animam
Last Wednesday quietly marked a new era for the game of golf in Nigeria. This was the day the Sports Minister of Nigeria, Ibrahim Isa Bio and the spirit behind the Bolingo Hotels Group, Chief Okechukwu Igweh, agreed that golf among youths in Nigeria, is in dire need of total overhauling.
For Igweh, who spent almost all part of his 38 years on earth at the United States of America, it wasn’t really an easy trip to get the ever busy Sports Minister to the table so problems of the nation’s golf could be thrashed totally.
Igweh just joined golf in Nigeria for some two years. Within such space of time, he has worked his game to a single handicap. In golf, this feat parks you on a lane where you could be one on one with the Phenomenon, Tiger Woods.
But this is not the story. This is the story.
In two years of golfing in Nigeria, Okechukwu Igweh, could see clearly that Nigeria, as a nation, is blessed with so many youths, especially Caddies, who are wizards in the game. At same point, he immediately discovered that these youths were worthless since there was no way to harness their talents. Igweh did not want the youths to go to waste with their immense talents. He worked out ways to be of assistance.
At once, he discovered that he could not handle the immense problem of national magnitude alone. He decided to bring in the government while he would support as one from a private sector.
“I believe I have done my bit”, Igweh stated. ” But government, too, must do something so we can put in place a working relationship between the government and the private sector so the game of golf among youths especially can blossom. Thank God, the Sports Minister is all for it.
So we are in partnership. Truth is I will do everything to keep this partnership. I am pssionate about things that concern the kids. Not just in golf. I even have an NGO that help poor babies to have a start in life”.
As if the Sports Minister, Bio, is reading the mind of Igweh, he, too, quickly chipped in that he had vowed not to be a Football Minister,but a Minister for all sports.
“I am happy at the initiative from Igweh”, Bio announced. “This shows that the private sector are prepared to partner with government in all areas of sports. We shall move quickly to develop the game of golf among the youths. I play the game and I know we have so many great youths who can be helped to greater heights.