The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita will serve as an ambassador and Matron of the Nigeria House Project in the Rio Olympics in Brazil.
The top civil servant who accepted the appointment also during a visit by the Nigeria House In Rio Project Committee led by its Project Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Abdullahi said she is impressed and feels highly honored to lead other Nigerians in the assignments lined up principally for the purpose of selling the image Nigeria to the world and pursuing investments for the nation in Brazil.
Abdullahi had told her that other nations have had to appoint icons and symbols of unity who have excelled in their chosen fields as ambassadors of their houses during the Olympics and after going through the list Mrs Winifred Ekanem Oyo-lta is more than qualified. “As we speak countries already have their houses established in Rio to showcase their potentials. For us, it is all about investment drive in critical sectors like agriculture, solid minerals, health, establishment of schools like universities in Nigeria, housing, real estate, transport and so on. We are aiming to seal bilateral trades and have partnered with the Nigeria Brazil Chamber of Commerce and very soon will have an investment forum in Sao Paulo in Brazil. We are saddled with the responsibility of promoting Nigeria’s image in Rio through these critical sectors. In this initiative, Nigeria is not operating in isolation because other countries have brought on board as ambassadors people who are icons and symbols of unity and have achieved in their chosen fields and careers which is why after checking all the lists we felt the Head of Civil Service deserves it and is qualified not just to be an ambassador but Matron of the Nigeria House in Rio during the Olympics.”
Reacting, Mrs Ekanem Oyo-Ita said from the detailed explanation of the Project Coordinator, the trip to Rio will not be a tea party but hard work in order to attract direct foreign investments for the nation and is willing to see that the vision succeeds.
“Listening to the Project Coordinator, l suddenly realized that this is a very big project. When l got the letter appointing me as Nigeria House Ambassador, l didn’t really understand the depth of the assignment but coming here today to shed more light has really helped me to fully grasp what the project is all about. From what l can see l am going to do more work in Rio than what l am doing here. I think this is a very noble objective for us to work together to make the 2016 Olympic Games very meaningful to Nigeria as a nation, because a lot of Nigerians do not really understand the importance of participating in an international event as the Olympic Games, they only see it from the sports and participation angle.”
“For me, before we even get to Rio, right from here, we are going to start getting a lot of advantages. One area that has also caught my attention is the area of Entrepreneurship for the nation as we partake in the 2016 Olympics. Entrepreneurial development and commercial orientation is one area that we are planning to introduce into the civil service now that is why anywhere l hear of enterprise and economic activity l get interested because l believe this is what we need in this country especially at this time. So, wherever we here of ideas to improve revenue generation for the nation we should hold such tight and engage in such activity and enterprise. To know that there is an investment drive going on and knowing that when we travel out to Rio there will be an opportunity to interact with foreign investors, entrepreneurial sponsors, captains of industry and men from Chambers of Commerce and Industry like the Nigeria Brazil Chambers of Commerce and so on is very good. We are not going for jamboree but going to see what we can bring back home for our country Nigeria. I am indeed impressed with the vision of the Nigeria House in Rio Committee. Lastly, l am also really interested in the real estate development sector because of the civil servants Federal Integrated Staff Housing programme of the civil service which we have started and to interact with people who are into real estate since it will not be with Brazilians alone but others from other parts of the world. For me, it will be a great opportunity.”