All Progressive Congress (APC) Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun has been appointed as the Dean of Ambassadors for the Nigeria House in Rio Olympics Project. Accepting the appointment made by the minister of sports and youth development, Barr. Solomon Dalung, Chief Oyegun who commended the minister for bringing on board the initiative for the promotion and exhibition of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and endowment replied that, “this project has come at a time when our dear nation is in dire need of Direct Foreign Investment and positive international image which Mr president has vigorously spearheaded and which, l believe, your ministry has the capacity to further promote, given the steps taken so far under your able leadership.”
He also said “let me assure you that our great party – the APC endorses your efforts and will give you our full support in this endeavor.
“I want to say everything should be done to encourage your project to make sure it succeeds and stands out during the Olympics and if we don’t win medals at least let Nigeria House win investment medals. I am glad, proud and feel very privileged that you have made me the Dean of Ambassadors and l promise that in that capacity, whatever role you give me l will give it my very best.”
The Project Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria House Project, Abdullahi Mohammed, consequently visited the ruling party boss to further intimate him with the activities of the House and roles expected of the top politician before and during the Olympics as the Dean of Ambassadors of the Nigeria House in Rio Hospitality Project.
He told Chief Oyegun that the Olympic Charter had made provision for hospitality activities during the Olympics and that the initiative was meant to celebrate what we have as a nation, exposing our potentials to the world to see where Nigeria can enjoy exchange of programmes like bilateral trade. “The reason for this visit is the fact that Olympics is the only biggest event in the world that brings almost a million people together in one setting. Olympics on its own is a city game, it is not like the World Cup that is scattered in various venues. During Olympics the entire people gather in one city for like a month and two weeks. So, the IOC discovered that this is about the best avenue to explore and expose whatever you want to showcase or exhibit as a nation apart from the sporting activity. Therefore, exhibition of trades, arts and culture, solid minerals and others can take place during the Olympics and as we speak, Canada House, USA House, South Africa House, Great Britain House and others are already on ground with each of these houses aimed at bringing what they want to showcase and celebrate to the world as well as carry out investment drive because the game on its own brings together people from different classes and age in one city. There will be days set aside for the critical sectors in the investment forums. We have gone to Rio and identified where we are going to use as well as accommodation for the VIPs that are going to participate. Already, there are sponsors coming in to handle aspects like cuisine, exhibition and entertainment and we are still on sponsorship drive which is why we have decided to have a league of ambassadors like you who are symbols of Nigeria to officiate everyday in the house. We will need you on ground on the opening and closing days.”
An elated Oyegun said
“You have extremely, intelligently and eloquently presented the Nigeria House Project and l have now fully internalized the importance of the Rio Hospitality House Project. What you are doing is multidimensional in nature and you have painted a picture that is easy to see and appreciate. The fact that we are basically building a new nation has helped us gain respect before the rest of the world and this respect is beginning to grow worldwide. This is a project that is worth supporting because people will just want to come and see out of curiosity the new Nigerians and whether we are now different or behave differently. The fact that you have constructed it in such a way that it will promote culture, tourism, culinary specialty of our people, investment and general promotion of new understanding of what the new Nigeria stands for and aiming at what it wants to be in the future makes this project a very major undertaking and for a lot of reasons the Rio House will be a hot spot.”