The Managing Director of the Incel Tourism Group, Mr Ifeanyi Ezeokoli, has 

said he was confident that “with the enormous sporting talent that abound in Nigeria, the nation could win up to 10 gold medals in the Olympics when the Sports Performance Fund (SPRF) is fully in place.

Ezeokoli, a fitness buff and avid sports fan, made the statement when he hosted representatives of the SPRF in his Ikoyi, Lagos ofiice over the weekend.

The self-effacing entrepreneur specifically mentioned weightlifting, wrestling, boxing and athletics as the sports where Nigerian youth will excel with the SPRF challenge.

 “I was in my home town recently and saw some young men challenging themselves with weights made from cast concrete and I thought with my gym experience I could compete. What I struggled to lift they just lifted like it was a notebook. They were competing for bragging rights and I could sense betting. I believe that once they know about the SPRF rewards they will take it to Olympic level.” he said.

The SPRF board of trustees was represented by Engr. Ahmadu Musa Kida the president, Odein Ajumogobia SAN, vice president National and Government Relations and Godwin Kienka, the executive secretary. 

Engr Musa Kida, who is the immediate past deputy MD of Total Energies in his remark said the board was honoured by the very warm reception and impressed with the level of sports knowledge displayed by Mr Ezeokoli. “We have no doubt that this initiative will attract massive private sector involvement in Nigeria’s sports development and inspire our youth to excel at the world stage.” Engr Musa Kida said. 

Mr Ezeokoli made a significant ‘on the spot” contribution to the fund which he insisted should not be made public. However, Odein Ajumogobia SAN, former Minister of Petroleum and later Foreign Affairs, informed his host that in line with the SPRF policy all donations will be reflected on the website for all stakeholders to follow but those with privacy requests will be marked anonymous.

The SPRF board had earlier been received by the Hon. Minister of Sports Senator John Owan Enoh and Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God which also made a very uplifting donation the church requested be kept private.

The SPRF is planning to raise an initial N10 billion which will be warehoused for generations of Nigerian sporting youth and will be used only for that purpose. Olympic gold is to attract N10 million, Silver N7.5 million and bronze N5 million. Commonwealth gold winners will get N5 million, Silver N3 million and bronze N2 million while the All Africa Games and major World Championships will attract N3 million for gold, N2 million for silver and N1 million for bronze.