The NNPC/Shell joint venture has presented N2.5 million and a trophy to St. Thomas Basic Secondary School, Benin City, for emerging the overall winner of 16th edition of the NNPC/Shell football championship.
This is the second time the secondary school is winning the trophy and football competition for all secondary schools in Nigeria.
Presenting the Cheque/trophy, Communications Production Services Manager of Shell, Peter Ademu-Eteh explained that the money was meant for the development of sports in the secondary school.
According to him, the tournament was competed for by 3000 schools in all 36 states in Nigeria including the FCT and St. Thomas Basic Secondary School, Benin City emerged the overall winner which enabled it qualify to represent Nigeria in the U.S.A.
Additionally, Ademu-Eteh announced that each player was given N50,000 while two of the students from the school who emerged 10 best were awarded scholarship including four of the boys who are presently undergoing training in the under 17 team.
“The NNPC/Shell cup has continued to provide avenue for the discovery of talents for the various junior and secondary national teams in Nigeria. In 2013 for example, two products of the competition made Nigeria proud in the African Cup of Nations and FIFA U-17 football tournaments respectively. Idowu Akunjide, a member of the Golden Eaglets that won the 2013 FIFA U-17 football tournament was a product of NNPC/Shell Cup.
“The other product of NNPC/Shell Cup who made waves in 2013 was Ejike Uzoenyi who starred for the Super Eagles team that won the 2014 African Cup of Nations in South Africa. He represented Global Secondary School, Onitsha. He also emerged as the most valuable player in 2014 African Cup of Nations”, he stated.
Also speaking, Mrs. Tolu Derin-Adefuwa, who represented the Group General Manager, NAPIMS, the NNPC subsidiary in the joint venture, thanked the state government for identifying with grassroots sports development.
She maintained that the NNPC/Shell cup has continued to provide avenue for the discovery of talents for the various junior and senior national teams in Nigeria.
Accepting the cheque and trophy on behalf of Edo State Government, state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Washington Osifo, said nothing could have been better for the intellectual development of the students, adding “even a blind man can see that the effort the NNPC/Shell Joint Venture is yielding good results. Edo State will continue to support the development of grassroots sports. State government will give the school team the needed support as they represent Nigeria in the United States of America”.
The commissioner who was represented by Mr. Sumaina Kassim Momodu, thanked SPDC Joint Venture for their collaboration to improve grassroots sports in Nigeria.
Osifo who noted a steady decline in the number of grassroots competitions compared to the past when that was the major avenue for the discovery of talents, said collaboration between NNPC and Shell was beginning to bring succour to grassroots sports development.
“We will eternally remain grateful for the opportunity given to our children to showcase their skills. And we appreciate you greatly for coming to honour these children.
“We congratulate the children and the school. The Edo State government is proud of the of St. Thomas Basic Secondary School for not only winning the 2014 NNPC/Shell Cup, but having to represent Nigeria in the USA. A unique privilege you have that could have gone to others”, he concluded.