BY FAVOUR NNABUGWU

The present security challenge in the country has caused a boycott by American, Canadian and Ukrainian delegation of the ongoing Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreurship, SAGE, 2013 World Cup being hosted by Nigeria.

SAGE Global Director, Dr. Curtis DeBerg, disclosed this at a briefing in Abuja, yesterday.

He said the three countries refused to come to Nigeria because of the current security situation in the country.

DeBerg said the refusal of President Barrack Obama to come to Nigeria further fuelled the countries’ fear of coming for the competition.

He said 12 countries were supposed to have participated in the 11th SAGE competition from August 7 to 11, 2013, listing them to include Great Britain, China, Russia, Singapore, Canada, South Africa, China, Brazil, California, USA, Canada and Ukraine, with the last three withdrawing.

He, however, testified to the warm hospitality Nigeria accorded him in the last eight years he had been visiting the country and praised the federal government for paying attention to youth empowerment which, according to him, is yielding results as the country had won the competition four times in the last eight year.s

DeBerg said: “SAGE believes that the creativity and energy of youth are an untapped resource in shaping their own futures.

“SAGE asks, why not provide an avenue to help youth create better futures? Why not help them see that they can truly change the world?”

“SAGE inspires youth to do believe that they can contribute their knowledge, skills and energy to enhance their local and multinational communities.”

Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN,  Alhaji Bature Masari, who was accompanied by Special Adviser to the President on Youth Empowerment, Mr Obinna Adim, expressed happiness at the level of preparedness by the team, while commending them for their efforts in previous world cup championships.

He stated that by hosting the SAGE world cup, Nigeria would be showcasing its potentials and achievements in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, MSME sub-sector.

According to him, Nigeria will also dispel the wrong information by foreign media on the security situation in the country as well as marketing Nigeria to the world.

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