The Federal Government has appointed erstwhile Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi as Youth Ambassador to inspire young Nigerians to strive for excellence.
The appointment which took place at the NOC secretariat, National Stadium, Surulere Lagos on Friday is another of the Minister’s initiatives geared towards driving a vibrant youth for national development.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare, described the former Chelsea legend as a role model whose lasting legacies in football development have continued to have a positive impact on youths in the country.
The minister promised to support Mikel’s vision and the vision for sports development in the country and also assured the Stoke City midfielder of the Federal Government’s unalloyed support whenever he chooses to invest in the country.
“Time will not permit me to say much about Mikel’s success as a footballer. He is our legend and a role model who has continued to impact the lives of youth positively.
“It is my pleasure to appoint you as Nigerian Youth Ambassador. It’s a new portfolio and your role as youth ambassador will be made known to Nigerians,” the minister asserted.
In his response, Mikel expressed delight with his new portfolio and promised to work with the sports ministry to foster youth development in the country.
“I feel highly honored to be appointed as Youth Ambassador of this country, it is a great feeling. I am happy with this partnership and I promise to do my best to encourage and inspire the youths towards national development not just in football but in other sports like Basketball, Boxing among others”, said Mikel.
The event was followed by a tour of the National Stadium, Surulere which is undergoing rehabilitation.
The minister stated that a lot of effort had been put into the rehabilitation of the stadium with much emphasis on the pitch, scoreboard, tracks, and the spectators’ stand.
He stressed that the ministry had also partnered with a private organisation to change the seats of the 45, 000 capacity Stadium to a standard one.
“A lot has been put in place to ensure that the stadium returns to what it used to be. The seats are no longer in line with FIFA standard, but we have partnered a private organisation to have modern seats in place,” Dare said.