Nigerian Ports Sports Association (NIPOSA) games 2019 has flagged off in Lagos yesterday even as the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman commissioned the sport facility of the agency located at NPA Sports Centre, Bode Thomas, Surulere Lagos.
The facility was recently refurbished to a state of the art standard after several years of abandonment by previous managements.
Meanwhile, 17 teams are participating in the 2019 NIPOSA competition including NPA, African Circle, Grimaldi Shipping, TICT, APM Terminals, Dangote Group among others.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Hadiza Bala Usman said the refurbished sport facility comprises of NPA Club House, Lawn Tennis, Basket Ball Courts and Long Jump pit.
Hadiza noted that the facility had been in a total state of dilapidation and dereliction for several years, adding that the condition of the club house was antithetic to the image and status of the authority.
She noted that sports is a key motivating factor for inspiring workers loyalty and this attracted the attention of management at giving the facilities at the sports complex a face lift.
She said “The rehabilitation and upgrading of the facility is a further testimony to our avowed believe in Corporate Social Responsibility to our host communities.
This facility currently plays host to inter house sports for schools as well as hosting other sporting and recreational activities”
“We believe that the regular users of these facilities would keep the facility in top standard as is being handed over to avoid the mistake of the past”
Speaking earlier while declaring the NIPOSA game open, Hadiza Bala Usman said the game had been dead for 17 years until her management resuscitated it in year 2018.
She described sport as a global tool for unity, friendliness and an instrument for social justice, mass mobilisation of the society and corporation.
“It has also been found as an increasing important part for the development of the body and soul of men, and any organization that wants the best of its workforce would do well to provide opportunities for sporting activities” she said
She commended the NPA workforce for rewarding management’s effort at promoting sports with outstanding performances in internal and external competitions.
“I want to encourage everyone competing in this championship to see it as a sport, regardless of who takes the trophy home” she added.
Also speaking, at the event, General Manager Human Resources of NPA and Chairman of NIPOSA, Yahaya Gana Bukar said the games was initiated to promote unity among staff of NPA across Nigeria and to engender friendliness.
Bukar said that NPA has however decided to extend a hand of fellowship and camaraderie to the teeming members of the port community. He said invitation for participation was extended to port stakeholders including terminal operators and others.
“In other to heighten the excitement of this years games, two new sports have been added which are basketball and swimming alongside the traditional games like football, long jump, lawn tennis, chess, badminton, scrabble and table tennis”
“The current management of NPA deserves immense accolades for their exceptional support for sports which is second to none in the history of this organisation” Bukar said
He said the invitation to terminal operators and stakeholders is in efforts to provide a platform for relaxation and networking among the workforce in the maritime industry.
According to him, stakeholders have been scheduled to participate in invitational Relays, Chess and Football among others.
“Special commendation goes to the management of the Authority under the leadership of the iconic Hadiza Bala Usman who through sheer courage and uncommon bravery was able to tackle the challenge of rehabilitating, revamping and renewal (RRR) of the sports facilities across the Authority. You will agree with me that this is no mean achievement” he said