June 18, 2024

U.S. Consulate commends diaspora Nigerians’ impact on sports, economy

U.S. Consulate commends diaspora Nigerians’ impact on sports, economy

Will Stevens, Charge d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy, has commended the impact of Nigerians living in the U.S. on the U.S. economy and sports.

Stevens gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the National Football League (NFL) Africa Camp in Lagos on Tuesday.

NAN reports that the NFL, the biggest sport in the U.S., has opened a scouting programme tagged: “Africa Camp”, which is ongoing at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos Island.

The scouting programme is aimed at discovering young Nigerian talents who are interested in pursuing a career in NFL as a sport.

The programme has top NFL players from the U.S. and other countries assembled in Nigeria to also encourage young Nigerians to join the World’s highest-grossing sports in the world.

Stevens, however, said that many NFL players of Nigerian descent were doing well in the sport, hence the need to get more and give them the opportunity.

“Nigerians are impactful in the U.S.;  we have over 750,000 Nigerian Americans, many of whom are the most educated and have high income receiving members than any diaspora group in the U.S.

“The ties between the diaspora and the U.S., in the economy, will build more economic and cultural relationships that thrive between both countries- the U.S. and Nigeria.

“One of the good things is that the NFL is targeting Africa for talents. We have done this in Ghana, South Africa and now, Nigeria.

“There are over 140 NFL players from African descent, either they are born in Africa or their parents are Africans,” he said.

Stevens also stated that the U.S. Consulate in Nigeria was happy to be part of the talents discovery in Nigeria, of  which would have great benefits including  scholarships to study in the best American universities.

“It’s so great to have the NFL from the U.S., to have what the call African Camp here in Lagos. We have amazing talents across Nigeria that can fit in the challenge.

“It is an amazing opportunity for the NFL to get and discover some of the very best players in Africa and in Nigeria to play in the NFL.

“NFL happens to be the largest sports in the world in terms of revenue more than the Premier and European League. The NFL revenue generation is massive.

“There are over 50 players in each team or 32, so each team has lots of athletes in each position,” he said.

According to Stevens,  aside the economic benefits for the NPL Players, they can also have scholarships to study in U.S. universities.

“Most of the NFL players play in the college, while many are also on the scholarships to get free university degrees and play for four years in the college before they move to NFL.

“This gives them lots of opportunities as African students can come and study in the U.S., and get the degree. We have athletes that are studying in the best universities in the U.S.

“They are enjoying the scholarships made possible by the NFL because it provides the unique opportunity,” he said.

NAN reports that the African Camp, taking place at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, is open to potential athletes, whereby Nigerians and other Africans are taught the rudiments of the NFL.

Some of the drilling includes Broad Jump, Vertical Jump, 40-Yard Dash, Three Cones among others

The instructors include Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Bobby Okereke and Prince Tega Wanogho, who are of Nigerian descent, among others.