GOLFERS from across the country have showered praises on organisers of the Delta State ‘Beyond Oil Awareness’ Golf tournament, which has just ended in Asaba.
The two-day tournament organized by the Board of Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, (BIR), brought together captains of industries from different parts of the federation. It provided them the platform to rob minds on the need to take advantage of the convivial environment provided by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan-led administration to invest in the state.
Speaking with The Guardian at the end of the tournament, Captain of Ibori Golf and Country Club (IGCC) Asaba, Omordi George Ugboma, commended BIR for the initiative, saying: “This tournament is very timely, innovative and a welcome development.”
Ugboma stated that apart from using the tourney as a base to meet with captains of industries, the BIR was able to sensitize Deltans on the need to pay their taxes promptly.
He said: “The State government may not be able to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people if they fail to play their part. The game of golf helps in promoting human capital development agenda of a state and it also provides an avenue for youths to be gainfully engaged as caddies. It also helps them to develop into professional golfers,” Ugboma stated.
Also speaking at the end of the tourney, a member of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Daniel Mayuku, a former captain of Ibori Golf Course, said that the step taken by the BIR should be commended. “This awareness through golf competition is very important because taxation is one of the major ways of generating revenue to handle the state’s economic need besides oil revenue.
“We have to do something fast to arrest this situation of over dependence on oil as prime source of revenue generation in our economy. What the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue is preaching is that it is important to pay tax. By paying your tax regularly, there are lots of benefits in return. It will enable the government provides social amenities as good roads, health services and quality education for our people.
“Another thing is for us to realize that oil may not be there forever. In this regard, we have to start making plans on what to do when there is no oil. We have come to realize that golf itself is a game of life. Some of us regret wasting so much time before taking to the game of golf. Today, I have come to realize that golf is a gentleman game. It is a game of life and a game that brings a lot of young men around you. I think this is the most important thing that has happened in the history of our country. Golf Awareness is becoming very important and I comment the effort of the organisers for this wonderful tournament,” he stated.
The two-day tournament saw Victor Enagbe of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) Golf Club winning the Professional category with a gross of
75, just as Anthony George Isoji, won as the best young promising player.
The captain of the Ibori Golf and country club, Ugboma, scored the net of 81 to emerge the winner in the amateur category for the men, while the Chairman of Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, Joel Onowakpo- Thomas, placed second in that category after playing 83 net. Also, Dr. Joe Isibor emerged the runner-up with a score of 85 net.
In the ladies amateur category, Joy Solomon scored the net of 74 to emerge the best female player. Over two hundred amateur and professional golfers from across the country took part in the tournament.
The Executive Chairman of Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, (BIR), Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, was a fulfilled man at the end of the tournament. To him, the BIR was able to achieve its aim of using the golf tournament to complement Governor Uduaghan’s vision to build a Delta State that is not dependent on oil revenue.
He went memory lane saying that before the discovery of oil in 1952 in Oloibiri, Bayelsa State, Nigeria was already a leading economy in the African continental, providing diverse opportunities for trade and investment for the African region and the world economy.
“That was when the groundnut pyramid in the north, cocoa in the west, palm oil in the east, rubber in the south western parts of Nigeria and other natural mineral resources were the main anchor for the sustenance of the Nigerian economy. Then the regions were made to look at their areas of comparative advantage over another and concentrated on how best to improve upon it while looking at other viable avenues for investment and development. Competitions at that time was high among the federating units because the regions were made to use what they have to improve upon their infrastructure, education, health, transportation and the overall well being of the citizenry,” the BIR boss stated.
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