CBN Amplifies Empowerment, Support For Nigerian Youth

  • As SEC beats CBN Strikers 4-2 in football tourney

BY UBON EKANEM – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, says the apex bank will not relent in offering active support for youth empowerment in the county through sports and other viable intervention programmes.

Consequently, he has challenged Nigerian youths to be excited in exploring every available opportunity provided by CBN, including sporting activities to showcase their potential and achieve their dreams for the future.


Speaking at the finals of this year’s All Financial Institutions Football Competition (AFIFC) played at the U. J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, Emefiele urged Nigerian youth to embrace the apex bank’s financial programmes that focus on a wide range of activities aimed at enhancing sustainable development and growth across the country.

A statement by CBN spokesperson, Osita Nwanisobi, quoted Emefiele as saying; ”Let me assure you that the management of CBN remains committed to the sponsorship of this tournament.

“Let me also use the opportunity of this tournament to urge our teeming youths to embrace various intervention programmes of the bank to better their lots, and contribute to the development of the nation.”

Nwanisobi said the CBN Governor, represented by the Deputy Director, Corporate Communications Department of CBN, Mr Samuel Okogbure, further encouraged the youths to readily access the apex bank’s “various interventions in the agricultural sector, as well as the creative industry’s financial initiative (CIFI) both with a high and low-interest finance in fashion, music and technology.

”I wish to thank the Cross River State government for hosting the finals in this beautiful sporting arena. Let me also thank our long-standing partner, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), for organizing this tournament.”

Emefiele, who noted that the AFIFC Cup has become a significant tournament among financial institutions in Nigeria since its inception in 1979, said CBN remains committed to making positive contributions towards the promotion and development of football and other sporting competitions.

He also disclosed that the three-decade-old competition has been a grooming ground for young football-playing bankers and players like Kanu Nwankwo, Henry Nwosu and Stephen Keshi (of blessed memory) who once featured in the tournament.

In seeing off the 24-team football competition, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) emerge champions with a 4 -1 penalty shoot-out victory over the CBN Strikers. Both sides had stalemated proceedings at nil-all after 90 minutes and the resultant spot kicks saw SEC FC scoring four while CBN fluffed two of their kicks.

The bronze medal went to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) team that beat Bubayero Football Club 2-0 in the third-place encounter.

The annual competition, now in its 34 edition, saw the winners going home with N2 million Naira as the prize money, with the runners-up pocketing N1.5 million Naira.

Friday Ekpo

Other prize money offered to both the third and fourth-placed teams were N1 million Naira and N500,000 Naira, respectively.

Gracing the final match were representatives of CBN and NFF as well as former Nigerian international, Friday ‘Zico’ Ekpo who featured as the special guest.

Describing the level of the competition as quite high, Ekpo, popularly called ‘Zico’ in his playing days, said the tournament is a good breeding ground for discovering talents and boosting sports development in the country.

Ekpo, who played 19 times for the national team from 1989 to 1993 and was also named in the 1992 African Cup of Nations’ Super Eagles’ squad also appreciated the CBN for partnering with NFF to host the tournament – With additional NAN reports

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