By Ogbone Jeremiah Odafe
Rivers State Government has unveiled the Real Madrid Football Academy constructed by the Nyesom Wike administration to promote professional football.
Inaugurating the academy in the presence of officials of Real Madrid Football Club and Rivers State Government, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, said the academy would groom the next generation of stars.
He described sports as one of the greatest unifying factors in Nigeria.
While commending the idea behind the Real Madrid Academy, the Oyo Governor insisted Gov Wike was indirectly promoting national unity.
According to additional reporter sourced from www.allafrica.com, Makinde thanked the Rivers State governor for his commitment to the development of Rivers State, adding that as a person who lived in Port Harcourt, he knows the high level of infrastructural development the state has witnessed under his administration..
In his address earlier, Gov. Wike described the unveiling of the academy as one of the happiest days of his life as it has marked the beginning of a new football era.
Wike stated that 70 per cent of the students of the academy would be from Rivers State, while other Nigerians would account for 30 per cent of the participants.
He said Rivers people deserve the best, hence his administration is committed to initiating and executing quality projects for the people.
Area Manager of Real Madrid Foundation for Africa and Middle East, Mr Inigo Vallejo, assured the state that the club would continue to support and sustained the development of the academy.
He said after series of engagement with Wike on the academy, the club keyed into it and would help drive the project.
While thanking the Rivers State governor for his commitment to football development, he stated that Real Madrid Football Club would provide the necessary technical support to develop the academy.
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Earlier during a courtesy visit to Wike at Government House, Port Harcourt, Vallejo described the Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt as the Mother of All Football Academies in Africa.
He said Real Madrid Football Club positively responded to the dream of Wike to set up an academy in Rivers State.
He said the Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt is the first by the club in Nigeria, noting that it has facilities that are of international standards.