Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has called on Corporate Organisations especially Multinational Companies to partner with government in its various community development projects aimed at improving the quality of lives of residents.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode made the call today at Gbagada in Kosofe Local Council Development Area of the State while commissioning the remodelled Araromi Youth Development Centre donated by the Coca-Cola Company Nigeria.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, the Governor noted that Community Development Projects aimed at improving the quality of lives of the people should not be considered as the sole responsibility of Government alone.
He urged other Corporate Organizations to borrow a leaf from Coca-Cola by sponsoring more development projects as part of their corporate social responsibility, assuring that the government will continue to provide an enabling business environment that will guarantee quick returns on their investment.
While commending Coca-Cola for its good vision for Youth Development, Governor Ambode said: “The commissioning of the remodelled Araromi Youth Development Centre today will not only serve the Gbagada community but also join the list of world-class sporting facilities available in Lagos”.
Ambode stated that the present administration is fully committed to the provision of sports parks and vocational facilities in public places so as to revive grassroots, community and school sports in line with the vision of the State government to take the sports sector to the next level.
The Governor opined that all efforts in this direction are yielding positive results as Youths are now being meaningfully engaged in different communities, while indirectly contributing to the growth of the economy of Lagos rather than roaming about or engaging in vices.
He said, “Our plan as a government is to ensure the provision of sports parks and recreational facilities in our communities to revive grassroots, community and school sports, this is in furtherance to the goals of our administration to meaningfully engage our youths in different communities in Lagos State”.
“It provides a platform for the positive engagement of our Youth and the discovery of talented young people who will make a career out of their skills and contribute to the growth of the economy”, Ambode said.
The Governor who charged community leaders to ensure that the public facilities and infrastructure are protected, tasked Youths of Araromi, Ifako and Soluyi areas, who are the direct beneficiaries of the facility, to ensure adequate maintenance and shun any act capable of undermining government’s efforts in sports development.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Mr. Bhupendra Suri explained that the organisation has, as part of its corporate social responsibilities, continued to adopt strategic grassroots football initiatives aimed at empowering and inspiring teenage football players to actualize their dreams.
He noted that Nigeria is blessed with a lot of young talented sports athletes but the opportunity to make some of them maximize their potentials is almost non- existent, adding that his company came up with the idea of upgrading selected football pitches across the country to help young players have access to world-class football training facilities in their communities.
“This is what we did with the COPA Coca-Cola, a grassroots youth-development programme designed to discover budding football talents across the world, provide them with opportunities to pursue their passion while encouraging them to bond with their peers from other parts of Nigeria and beyond”, Suri explained.
Also speaking, the Company’s Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Clement Orji, said the new ultra-modern sports facility is equipped with facilities that include a standby generator, changing rooms, basketball court, spacious car parks, toilets, water and large space for future development of other sporting activities.