24 November 2012

Nigeria: CBN and Golf Development in Nigeria

Nigeria is not well-known for its golfers, perhaps because most Nigerian golfers play at the amateur level while others engage in it for leisure and fitness. In most countries well-known for golf, it is the realm of the moneyed class and Nigeria is moving high with a development that could mark it as an international destination going by the class of events. The Central Bank Governor Golf Cup is one.

The 6th edition of the annual tournament came to a climax with South Korean veteran golfer, Joon Soo Kim emerging the overall winner after a rigorous three-day battle. The Korean playing in handicap 24 beat first runners up, HK Usman and second runners, P Gray to claim the championship's top position and the glamorous Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor's Cup golf tournament trophy.

The victory took the Korean into the hall of fame of the tournament trailing the likes of two-time winner, Barrister Anthony Azogu, who is now the captain of the IBB Golf Club, 2009 winner, S Anka, the Senate President, Senator David Mark who emerged winner in the 2010 edition and C Shaiyen who won the title in 2011.

While the director, Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, Ugo A Okoroafor, successfully defended his position in the last edition as the best staff golfer, playing in handicap 23 to win first Nett, beating second place Nett, S Awoyingbo and third place Nett, YM Sanusi to the trophy.

Addressing a gathering of eminent high profile Nigerian golfers like the former Rivers State military governor, HRH Alfred Diete Spiff, Major Gen IBM Haruna (rtd), John Shagaya among others, the CBN governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, said that the tournament has become a major annual event in the calendar of events of the IBB International Golf and Country Club.

Dressed in his complete traditional chieftain regalia during the award-giving ceremony, the Kano born banker said the apex bank has noted with joy the professionalism and enthusiasm it brought into the organisation of the championship annually. "The management of the CBN has noted with a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment the high standard of professionalism and enthusiasm exhibited by participants in this honourable sport.

It is important to mention that our interest in sports is not restricted to golf, as CBN has, over a long period, been making remarkable contributions to the development of sports in Nigeria by sponsoring annually the All Financial Institutions Football Competition."

"We are also sponsoring the CBN Senior Lawn Tennis Open Championship and the CBN Junior Open Tennis Tournament. This year, we will also sponsor beach soccer. I want to re-affirm that the sponsorship of the CBN Governor's Golf Tournament has come to stay.

The objective is to develop the game and provide an atmosphere for recreational activities as part of the Bank's social responsibility programme.

He commended the leadership of the club for painstakingly mobilising golfers for tournament. "I wish to appreciate the efforts of the management of IBB International Golf and Country Club for their painstaking efforts towards mobilising golfers to participate in this event and ensuring the continued success of the tournament. I wish to reiterate the commitment of the bank to sustain its efforts towards the development and promotion of sports in Nigeria," he noted.

The captain of the club, Barr. Anthony Azogu charged other corporate organisations to borrow from CBN and contribute to the development of the sport.

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