RE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPORTS ACADEMY COMPLEX AT UMUNYA
Your Excellency, Governor Peter Obi
It is an exceeding pleasure to refer to the above mentioned project. I am optimistic that your attention will make some substantive difference, and re-appraisal of this letter will yield some meaningful results in the long approved sports academy development in our state. Ndewo!
In this letter, I will briefly present, as I view it, the purpose of referring you to the aim you had in 2010 concerning the approval of developing a multimillion International sports complex at Umunya. In so doing, I will explore what so many consider sports development problems in Anambra state and then ask Your Excellency for more support in eliminating them.
I. THE HEADLINE OF THIS LETTER & THE GOVT. CONNECTION
Supporting Sports development in Anambra state, as Your Excellency understands, is among the primary objectives of your government. To me, this objective is commendable; it delves into the taproots of the youth empowerment and community development.
Your Excellency, my decision to write you is based on this understanding that the primary role of any government is to protect, upgrade and develop the life of its citizenry. The Anambra citizenry are known for its vast pool of diversified intellectuals including skilled craftsmen, sports (Athletes'), entertainers, music artists, political gurus and business entrepreneurs. The state is also home to most of the famous Igbo personalities known in Nigeria and Abroad: Gen. Emeka Ojukwu,Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe,Prof. Chinua Achebe, Philip Njoku Emeagwali, Prof. Dora Akunyilu ,Dr Oby Ezekwesili , Dame Virgina Etiaba ,Chimamanda Adichie, Senator Joy Emordi, Pete Edochie, Peter & Paul Okoye (P-Square),John Mikel Obi , etc, but before the details of this letter, some caveat is understandably in order.
Your Excellency, my experience as a Switzerland /USA based Sports Psychologist, FIFA Agent and International Sports Consultant has taught me several valuable lessons; among them is that sometimes, good intentions of a consultant or individual can be frustrated, misconstrued or even be twisted to score some mischievous and political points. Accordingly, I must make my intentions crystal clear at the outset to prevent any misunderstanding by few who might not have the same vision you have for our state.
All things been equal, this letter is not an attack against any arm of your government or particular individual; it is not a criticism of any person, for that matter. This letter is simply a modest effort on my part to appeal to you once more to complete the approval you gave to Infinite International Sports Academy Limited for the development of an International Sports Complex at Umunya.
Accordingly Sir, I ask that you treat as a genuine effort by your wonderful government who is seeking more encouragement and support for our sports development. Now, the details.
II. EXPLAINING THE SPORTS DEVELOPMENT PROBLEM IN ANAMBRA STATE
Your Excellency, the down grade of sports development in our state is, to say the least, very unfortunate. There is a serious sports development problem in our state, and if adequate measures are not taken, it will continue to down grade. Of course, your administration did not create the situation; the situation is largely inherited from previous governments; and as such, I only ask that you continue help as you have been doing in all sectors. On record, you have done noble in giving hope to teenagers through your support to private initiatives in Sports development. Dalu!
Your Excellency, this report is troubling, and should be painstakingly looked into hence you are still the first citizen of our state and power still abides in you till this DAY!
After your candid approval of the worthy sports project on 07.07.2010, Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) was drafted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and was vetted by the Ministry of Justice thereafter signed on the 11.01. 2011 and the State represented by the former Hon. Commissioner of Youth and Sports, Mrs. Chinwe Anowai and the Investors/developers, Infinite International Sports Academy Limited.
This profound gesture brought joy, hope for many in our beloved state that the eagle has landed but far be it.
The piece of land proposed for the project was 35 Hectares which was duly provided on your approval of revocation/Excision from the land acquired at Awkuzu/Umunya for the Federal Sites and Services Scheme. The Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development were duly notified of the revocation/excision.
Peradventure, in March 2012, the pieces of land at Umunya were duly surveyed solely by Infinite International Sports Academy Limited who contracted a private surveyor by the approval of the then Honourable Commissioner of Lands, Survey and Town Planning.
Your Excellency Sir, it was our candid objective to move on with the development of the applauded project that made us take the stance to use private surveyor to enable us fast track the project development in our dear State but unfortunately we could not achieve that purpose up till this day. The fundamental aim and objectives of the multimillion sports development project seems frustrated.
Subsequently, the project Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) did not properly cover the State interests as defined by the Ministry of Lands and Survey thereby resulting for an Addendum drafted by Ministry of Youth and Sports, duly vetted by Ministry of Justice and relevant parties signed on the 04.10.2012. The State was represented by the present Honourable Commissioner of Youth and Sports, Dr. Edozie Okay Aroh.
On the Addendum, it is stated in black & white that the project Investors/ developers will give 50% gainful employment to all citizen of Nigeria and 50% gainful employment to Anambra indigenes and 30% return on investment payable to the State hence its agreed PPP. And well over 1000 athletes will be camped and trained in the Academy. What more can we do for our beloved State Sir? Anambra is the priority state in this project considering Ultra-modern sporting infrastructures, tourist attraction and well meaning employment.
However based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by both parties, one of the State Government's obligations is to issue the relevant document(C of O) to the project developers. Having said this, on 8th June 2013, the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Town Planning sent Infinite International Sports Academy Limited file to your office for final signing of the Certificate of Occupancy(C of O) to enable the investors and foreign partners commence work.
The representatives of one of our foreign partners, Volvo Cars Corporation, Sweden who is willing to invest in the Twelve Billion Naira (N12.7b) project was in Nigeria on two occasions between 2012 and 2013 but still we have not managed to secure the relevant documents (C of O) thereby halting the project development and ridiculing our reputable business credibility.
Your Excellency Sir, it was in our projection after we received your initial approval in 2011 to see half of the project executed as you are still in the office but we are deluded and not defaulted hence reality is faced with unknown delays. I would like to believe you are not tied to any apron strings.
Peradventure, this is a rare opportunity our dear State cannot afford to lose. We all envisaged the tremendous development cum economic benefits the project would bring to our State and more importantly the numerous employment opportunities it will avail our youths, communities, nation and individuals in due course.
In conclusion, we have confidence that the enthusiasm visibly seen in the people and the wave of excitement blowing across the State on the news of the project approval since 2011 will spur you to action to reconcile the issuance of the C of O to the developers: Infinite International Sports Academy Limited and partners.
My Governor Sir, therefore, I ask, in a somber tone, that you fulfil the state obligation of the agreement by signing the relevant document as soon as possible so we could proceed on a new time table with our International partners and investors. It is in the spirit of listening to your subjects and working together that I write you.
Your Excellency, certainly as the time tick for you to leave office, we are looking at you, and History is looking at you. It is paramount that your name will be in the good books of history of Anambra State, Nigeria and Africa hence the Sports Academy will be the biggest sporting Mecca in Africa. We envisage continuing with your successor on the platform you have layed.
Today, if I am asked to provide a candidate for the office of president, I would choose HE, Mr. Peter Obi because I see you as a man that burnt with an inner sense revolution, a man who really had the people he was serving at heart, a man who shunned the idiosyncrasies of political cabals to break the mould. At the nick of time, when some biased and misleaded natures in the state, those with an uncompromising message intertwined with hot rhythms and beats thought you were fraying at the edges, you poured in great elbow grease in securing developmental projects. Fundamentally, this project is a welcome gesture on your part, an ebullient and erudite Executive Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, the winner- best governor in Nigeria 2009, the best performing governor 2013 on the eradication of polio from Bill Gates and Melinda Foundation, businessman and financial expert. Your foresight as a first class business mogul led to your first important approval and support for construction of this sports project in our state. In your awesome opinion, the sports complex is an environmental friendly one and it will boast revenue generation for Anambra State and well meaning job creation for Nigerians in general.
In such a spirit of cooperation and mutual interest against lack of sports development in our state, I am convinced that Your Excellency will give this request herein your utmost consideration. I thank you immensely for taking the time to read and consider this letter.
May God give you more wisdom to improve the lives of our people!
KESTER EZUMA (President/CEO)
FIFA Registered-Federation Licensed Player's Agent/Sports Consultant
Infinite International Sports Academy Limited. (RC. 931339)
(Chairman of Infinite United Football Club)