|Managing Director, Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Mr. Habib Abdullahi and President, Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Engr. Sani Ndanusa while signing the MoU at NPA’s Marina, Lagos office on Thursday, 27 November, 2014|
President, Nigeria Tennis Federation, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, has described the National Ports Authority, NPA Tennis Open as a tournament capable of becoming a Grand Slam event in the country.
The former Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC President, who made this disclosure while signing the MoU with the NPA at their Marina office in Lagos on Thursday to run the debut tournament for at least four years before renewal, hailed the NPA for choosing tennis as a way of discharging its Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR.
According to him, “today marks a landmark in our dear sport as we have added another feather to our cap. We really want to appreciate our sponsors for considering to sponsor tennis.
“It is a debut Championship, but we hope to move step by step with it; from the national level to the continental level and then, international level such that the best players in the world will be hustling to come here.
“The total prize money to be spent on the maiden event which will attract a little less than 100 players across the country is about N17million.
“The partnership will afford NPA the opportunity to bankroll the tournament while NTF will provide the technical and administrative support during the one-week championship.”
An excited Managing Director of NPA, Habib Abdullahi in his remarks, said having been part of the sports in the past, supporting tennis is part of the company’s efforts to support sports development.
Abdullahi, a former chairman of the defunct NPA Football Club, said the MoU would ensure that the tournament is organised annually and it would afford the organisation the opportunity to re-enact its romance with sports.
“This MoU is important because this is another milestone for us at NPA and we believe that through this we can contribute our quota to the development of sports just like we have done in the past. I was in charge when NPA FC was sold to Delta State and it was a difficult decision for us then.
“But we still believe that supporting sports is part of us and that is why this MoU is very important to us. It is going to be an annual tournament and we hope to improve every year,” he added.
Meanwhile, eyeonthesports.com can reliably inform that the Championship will attract national ranking points despite its relatively new entrant into the national tennis circuit.
According to tournament umpire, Seidu Musa, who spoke with our correspondent in Abuja, “it is a national tournament and will of course, attract ranking points for the players. It may not be as much as what they get from other national tournaments but it will surely get ranking points”.
The tournament will serve off today, Friday, 28 November, 2014 with the arrival of players, and culminate on Sunday, 7 December, 2014 at the Package B arena of the National Stadium, Abuja.