By Onochie Anibeze
The entire Nigeria’s sports family has a genuine cause to celebrate Godwin Emefiele, President Jonathan’s nomination for the job of Governor of the Central Bank.
This was the position of Amaju Pinnick yesterday. Pinnick heads sports in Delta State, the foremost state in sports development in Nigeria. And he spoke from that vintage position.
“We, in the sports family, commend President Jonathan for nominating somebody who invests in sports and who will surely do more for sports as Central Bank Governor,” Amaju said.
He, however, did not only extol Emefiele’s strides in sports but equally celebrated his achievements in the banking industry, concluding that as Central Bank Governor “Emefiele is a square peg in a square hole.” Amaju captured Emefiele this way:
“His appointment didn’t come as a surprise to many who have followed his track record. He is a right choice in all ramifications. He has demonstrated humility, dexterity, professionalism and fear of God in the discharge of his duties as Managing Director in one of the leading banks in Africa.
Nobody noticed any difference when the pioneer MD of the bank, Jim Ovie exited. Rather, the bank has been growing bigger in stature, status and liquidity. Delta State Sports Commission identify with him because our private sector initiative in sports development wouldn’t have reached appreciable level without him. Emefiele was part of our success story in the last Sports Festival in Lagos. Zenith Bank was our official bank.
He was with us during the festival. Today, Delta State is the only state that it’s local league is sponsored by private initiative. Zenith Bank are the sponsors. They were also the sponsor of E K Clark Wrestling Championship, a national championship that discovered talents and helped in taking some youths off the streets.
Zenith Bank under Emefiele was the Official Bank of the Africa Youth Athletics Championships that Nigeria hosted last year. It was a huge success. Zenith Bank under Emefiele contributed 50 per cent of the football house edifice named After Patrick Okpomo, the former indefatigable Secretary of Nigeria Football Association who is now late.
Zenith Bank under Emefiele is involved in a cycling programme in Agbor that has developed many cyclists. Today, Agbor is a strong hold in cycling. Zenith Bank under Emefiele partnered Delta Football Association in hosting the Annual General Congress of NFF last November. They have, in many ways, complemented the efforts of Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan in taking youths off the streets.
And just last year they helped in training coaches and referees in Nigeria when they sponsored the training programme conducted here by Head of Arsenal Academy Andrew Douglas, former assistant coach of Arsenal Mark Elis and Jeff Winter, a former Premier League referee who were here for 10 days. We can go on and on to note why the sports family should celebrate this man I will prefer to call Mr. Due Diligence. I see him doing more for sports.”