Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that sport is a key to youth development while also reaffirming the state’s commitment to the annual ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open.
Receiving the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) delegation led by its Executive Vice President, Dr. Alaa Meshref, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the hosting of the tournaments has put Lagos on the world map with players across the world eager to be part of the competition.
Nigeria Open is the third tournament in the last one week to be staged in Lagos and the Governor however, reaffirmed support to the championship.
Sanwo-Olu said table tennis has been developing since the start of the Nigeria Open few years ago.
specifically, he singled out the Chairman of the Local Organsing Committee (LOC), Wahid Oshodi as a pride to the state whose commitment and resourcefulness has continued to raise the profile of the sport in Africa.
“We want to continue to raise the bar so that other countries can continue to come to Lagos to compete. We will not relent in our efforts to empower our youths which has been part of our campaign promises that we will support our youth to actualise their dream through sports. Wahid Oshodi has made Lagos State proud and taken table tennis to great height in Nigeria and Africa at large. Our commitment to the sport will not dwindle and we assure ITTF that we will do our best to make the tournament more glamorous in coming years,” Sanwo-Olu said.
For Dr Meshref, Lagos has become the home of table tennis in Africa having hosted some of the major tournaments in the ITTF Calendar. “We are proud to be associated with Lagos State and we want thank you for your support and this goes to show that you are indeed a sports loving governor. ITTF has seen the Nigeria Open as one of major tournaments in the world and we will continue to do our best to support the tournament,” he said.
The ITTF team has the President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), LOC Chairman, Wahid Enitan Oshodi and Executive Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Dr. Kweku Tandoh. The Lagos State team include the Deputy Governor, Femi Hamzat, Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Foreign Relations and Diaspora, Jermaine Sanwo-Olu.