By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
No fewer than 156 professional golfers have their sight on the N6.5m prize money as the Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai on Wednesday performed the ceremonial tee-off to officially declare open the maiden edition of the KADINVEST Pinnacle Communications Pro-Am Golf Tournament holding at the Kaduna Golf Club 1921.
The golf tournament is having no fewer than 520 golfers comprising of both Professional and Amateur golfers from Nigerian and neighbouring African countries participating.
Governor el-Rufai in his speech shortly after the Tee Off commended Pinnacle communications for sponsoring the tournament as part of efforts to compliments governments efforts.
While assuring of government’s support, he disclosed that the state government has attracted about five million dollars ($5m) in the last three years in investment, adding, “we need investors and we are determined to pursue it”.
He further assured of adequate security arrangements in place to ensure a hitch free tournament.
Speaking also, the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications, Sir Lucky Omoluwa said, the sponsorship of the tournament is a promise kept and also to compliment the state government’s effort under the able leadership of Malam el-Rufai.
“The tournament is having about 520 players comprising of 156 professionals and the rest are amateurs from both Nigeria and neigbhouring African countries.
“Golf is not a game for government sponsorship hundred percent alone, hence our involvement to also create tourism awareness through golf.
“We are also considering golf clinic to encourage young ones to take into golf playing encourage grass root sport development.
” This tournament was last played in 1998 here and today it is taking place but would not have been possible not for the support of Governor Nasir el-Rufai”.
On his part, Kaduna Golf Club Captain, Colonel Ibrahim Biu said pinnacle communication would not have come to sponsor the tournament, but because of someone who is trustworthy like Governor Nasir el-Rufai.
“The chairman of Pinnacle Communications is also adsisting in renovating and reconstructing part of the club. He has assisted the club, and that is why the club house has been named after him, Sir Lucky Omoluwa,” he said.
He said the tournament is also aimed at bringing in visitors into Kaduna State to invest.
“We hope in the future, the continuation of this tournament would continue to attract tourists.
“Golf helps people to grow and Sir Lucky is conscious of what golf has given him and is poised to giving it back to the society.
“Many countries are here and their ambassadors would also be here and they would discuss with Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA) in terms of investments,” he stressed.