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National Golf Tournament: Usenobong Akpabio, Edidiong Idiong emerge champions, Pair to represent Nigeria in Portugal

The 2023 National final to determine Nigeria’s representatives in the International Pair Golf Tournament finals in Portugal has ended in Uyo with Barristers Usenobong Akpabio and Edidiong Idiong emerging victorious.

The competition, which had over sixty participants from various golf clubs all over Nigeria, started on Friday September 15, 2023 and ended on Sunday September 17, 2023 with the Prize Presentation Ceremony at the Golf Course of Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort.

At the annual event which was organized by Mr. Remi Olukoya, the MD/CEO of Falcon Golf, Usenobong Akpabio and Edidiong Idiong trumped Okechukwu Igwe and Saadi Baloni in second spot while Stephen Ebaretonbofa and Benedict Oghumah came third.

Speaking to Journalists, Usenobong Akpabio, who is also the Captain of Ibom Golf Club, described their victory as “a good thing for the State because it has further projected Akwa Ibom name nationally and internationally, not just in hosting, but also in representation”.

The Ibom Golf Club Captain thanked Equitorial Parks & Premises Ltd for sponsoring their participation, as their victory would have been impossible, since the competition was only open to participants with corporate sponsorship.

He described Equitorial Park and Premises Ltd as a responsible corporate organization that has demonstrated passion for golf development through active involvement in all golf activities of Ibom Golf Club, and expressed optimism that the Portugal event will launch the company into the league of global brands like Coca-cola, Pepsi, Bournvita and others, who have become household names through sports sponsorship.

Pointing out that Ibom Golf Course was in a bad shape before the Company arrived, Usenobong commended Equitorial Park and Premises Ltd, an indigenous company, for bringing its exceptional maintenance expertise to bear in Ibom Golf Resort and rated the company as the best and most-sort-after hand in park and golf course maintenance in Nigeria.

Akpabio, who described Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort as the best and the only of its kind in West Africa that offers the special benefit of two world class facilities in one, the hotel and golf course, hinted on plans to establish Ibom Golf Club Academy to prepare next generation of golfers. He also revealed an ongoing negotiation aimed at making the organisers seen reasons to select Akwa Ibom as the permanent place of Nigeria’s final for the International Pairs tournament, listing global spotlight, tourism and economic boosts as some of the benefits the choice can bring to the State.

While expressing hopes that Nigeria will soon host the world, the former Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly member added, “Which better place will it be than in Akwa Ibom state”, underscoring the State’s special place as the people’s prefered destination.

In his reaction, the Chairman of Equitorial Park and Premises Ltd – Mr. Emmanuel Ekong, who described the victory as a positive message from Akwa Ibom, expressed confidence that the team will do well in Portugal.

“This victory is an inspiring message from Akwa Ibom. We have a wonderful team. Our players are always at the range, sharpening their proficiency in one form of swing or another and always constantly preparing and as such, the finals in Portugal will be a good one for the Nigerian team. We are confident of a good outing with the team in Portugal.”

Corroborating Barr. Akpabio’s position, Mr. Ekong, said that Equitorial Park and Premises Ltd is not just maintaining the Ibom Golf Course but also passionate about golf development – sponsoring events such as Ibom Golf Club Match Play yearly since 2018.

Situating sponsorship of the winning team into the Company’s numerous Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, Ekong stressed that the players capacities to win was a strong consideration for the Company and noted that the victory, which has launched the State and company into the international scene as far as golf is concerned, turned out to be a very good risk.

According to the Chairman, Equitorial Park and Premises Ltd is a company based in Abuja that is into landscaping and horticulture. He added that the Company has built parks for State governments, organizations and individuals and is currently maintaining Millennium Park, Abuja, Ibom Golf Course and other private parks and has a Staff strength of nearly 200 employees.

Drawing attention to recent happenings where Hilda Baci and John Obot, both Akwa Ibomites, have been on global stage in the Guiness World Book of Records for the longest cooking time and longest hours for reading aloud respectively, the chairman described that the latest feat of Usenobong Akpabio and Edidiong Idiong, both Akwa Ibomites and members of Ibom Golf Club as another reminder that Akwa Ibomites have always been at the forefront of positive impact globally, in all their efforts.

Using the success story of Usenobong and Edidiong who are playing good golf to represent Nigeria in International competition as a reference point, Mr. Ekong enjoined the Akwa Ibom State government and corporate organizations to “take specific interest by investing in the huge opportunities golf present, catch in on them as quickly as possible and use them to promote the State nationally and internationally”.

The International Pairs tournament is slated for the first week of November 2023 and Akwa Ibomites vis-à-vis Nigerians are hoping for a remarkable outing with Usenobong Akpabio, Edidiong Idiong through Equitorial Park and Premises Ltd sponsorship.

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