The Union Bank of Nigeria Plc on Tuesday donated N30 million to the Nigeria Olympic Committee to support the nation’s participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Donating the money, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaiden, the Head, Corporate Communications of Union Bank, said that the money was for both the athletes and NOC.
Ekezie-Ekaiden said that N25 million was for the athletes and N5 million for the NOC’s logistics for the Games.
“We see sport as one of the areas of our corporate social responsibility. We are contributing our quota towards developing the skills of our athletes.
“We are not new in this venture; we are helping in boosting the moral of our athletes. In Nigeria we depend solely on the government and this ought not to be so.
“I hope other entities and institutions will take a cue from us and support Team Nigeria.
“We are going to ensure that Nigerian athletes in Rio are happy all through the Games,’’ she said.
She named five of the country’s representatives as members of Team Union Bank.
“They are Divine Oduduru, Seye Ogunlewe, Regina George, Odunayo Adekuruoye and Hannah Babalola.
“Actually Oduduru’s video on the social media soliciting for corporate sponsorship made us pick some of the athletes as our team,’’ she said.
Joe Mbulu, the Transformation Director, Union Bank, said it was the company’s pleasure to announce its support for the Games.
Mbulu said that the bank had been supporting Team Nigeria for over 30 years.
“We are supporting because we recognise the value of sports, youth development and the oneness that sports engender.
“The bank is a proud supporter of sports and we have some clubs too. We have table tennis, hockey and basketball clubs.
“We are one country and we will continue to support sport and I encourage other companies to join us in supporting Team Nigeria to the Games,’’ he said.
Solomon Ogba, the first Vice-President of NOC, thanked the bank for playing the role it should play in corporate Nigeria.
Ogba said that the aim of the bank was helping in repositioning sports.
“I have always said it that corporate Nigeria is the biggest problem we have in this country.
“They are not doing what they ought to do. They ought to be at the fore front in supporting sports development.
“We appreciate the bank for what they have done,’’ he said, adding however, that the support came a bit late.
“This ought to have come earlier than today. Most of the athletes struggled by themselves to get prepared for the Games.
“If it had come earlier, the athletes would have been better prepared.’’
He added that the money would be shared evenly among the Olympic-bound athletes and those that would take part in the Paralympics.
“We will be having no fewer than 100 representatives in both, so, each one of them will get N250,000 each,’’ he said.
Oduduru one of the country’s athletes and member of Team Union Bank, thanked the bank on behalf of others and assured the bank and Nigerians that they would not disappoint in Rio.
“I assure Nigeria that Team Union Bank will not let the bank down in Rio. We will give a good account of ourselves,’’ he said.