Speech by the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the opening ceremony of the 2018 West Africa Golf Tour in Abuja on Thursday, 1 March 2018

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It gives me great pleasure to be at the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 WEST AFRICA GOLF TOUR season that begins today in Abuja with the FCT CLASSIC tournament.

2. I would like to thank you for inviting me here today to be part of an event which showcases the sport of golf, the prestigious IBB International Golf and Country Club and the beautiful capital of Nigeria.

3. May I seize this opportunity to give special thanks to the IBB International Golf and Country Club, represented by the Captain, and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, for being the home golf course of the West Africa Golf Tour, and for providing the cooperation to bring an initiative of this magnitude to life for the first time in this part of the world.

4. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to all players participating at the tournament – players from Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon, Senegal, Germany, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

5. On behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria, I would like to welcome you all to our great country. Certainly, each of you will pit your skills and talents against your opponents. But I encourage you to go beyond competition to also showcase talent and to come closer to each other. This initiative is a clear example of how sports also contribute to integrating people within Nigeria, West Africa and across the continent.

6. The West Africa Golf Tour speaks for the commitment that I hold, as the Minister of Information and Culture, for the promotion of Nigeria’s rich tourism potentials. It showcases Nigeria to the world, our golf courses, natural surroundings and cities as well as our culture, thereby putting Nigeria, West Africa and Africa in the limelight and helping to advance the efforts to improve our image and economy.

7. There is a lot that countries can benefit from sporting activities. That’s why the government and the private sector in Nigeria will not hesitate to tap into the enormous opportunities that golf presents, and to support the West Africa Golf Tour in developing this game

8. In the coming days, we are going to see some very exhilarating moments and I encourage people to come here to watch the best of golf and to follow the players.

9. It is now my pleasure to declare open the 2018 West Africa Golf Tour season