By Kate Obande-Okewu
Abuja – The National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) has distributed sports equipment to 2,017 public primary schools in the FCT and the country’s 36 states, Bello Maigari, the Fund’s Acting Executive Secretary, says.
Maigari told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the distribution aimed at helping to develop sports from the grassroots was handled between 2016 and 2017.
He said the intervention was in nine sports, namely football, taekwondo, basketball, table tennis, volleyball, judo, badminton, handball and athletics.
Maigari said that the equipment were given out to no less than 40 schools in each state, with the exception of the FCT which had only 22 schools receiving the equipment.
“We visited all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT in 2016 and 2017 to hand over world-class sports equipment to over 2,000 public primary schools and 13 premier universities across the country.
“This is unprecedented in the history of NLTF and indeed in the history of sports. There has never been a major intervention to grassroots sports in the history of sports in Nigeria.
“We are the first to articulate that vision and we actualised it. We are pleased to tell Nigerians that the funds were applied judiciously and this is serving the purposes for which the trust fund was set up.’’
The NLTF Acting Executive Secretary explained that the equipment donated had propelled pupils to develop interest and participate in sports.
He said the intervention had helped the country to discover Rosemary Chukwuma, whom he described as a talented athlete who won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games.
NAN reports that the Games was held at Gold Coast in Australia in April.
Maigari added that many of the schools have the facilities to utilise the equipment, stating that the distribution was based on the report of the needs assessment of the selected schools.
On how the Fund had been tracking the progress of their projects, he said NLTF developed a World Bank standard of a monitoring and evaluation framework.
“We adopted the World Bank standard of monitoring intervention programmes.
“Tracking the utilisation of this equipment is on periodic basis. The framework envisages that we monitor on monthly, quarterly and biannual basis of course.
“And we also use the expertise of consultants to carry out post-impact assessment of these interventions at the end of the year.
“If the outcome is positive then we replicate it in the near future, and so far the reports are positive.’’
Maigari however disclosed that the Trust Fund was currently focusing on intervening in the health care of rural communities, stating that it had already issued medical equipment to seven states.(NAN)
(Graphic illustration by Kate Obande-Okewu)