By Sab Osuji:
All practicing sports journalists in the country are now to enjoy full insurance cover, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed Friday in Ilorin between the Pillar of Sports in Nigeria, Chief Donatus Agu Ejidike and officials of the Standard Alliance Insurance Plc, as well as the national officers of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN.
The MoU signing ceremony took place at the prestigious Bovina Hotels and Suites, Ilorin and was witnessed by the National President of SWAN Mallam Saidu Abubakar, National Secretary Mr Andrew Abah, acting national vice President South-South, Honour Sirawoo, national officers Alhaji Yusuf Isah and Alloy Chukwuemeka.
Others who witness the signing of the MoU are; Kwara State SWAN chairman Bunmi Adedoyin who is now Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor of Kwara State, SWAN secretaries of Kwara Mallam Jimoh Bashir and that of Rivers state Mr Lekan Ige, the chairman office of the Pillar of Sports Mr Olayioye Ajide who doubles as the Deputy Director of Protocol to the Kwara state governor,as well as vetrean sports Journalist Bayour Issah and host of others.
National President of SWAN Mallam Saidu Abubakar in an emotion laden voice came to tears over the death of ace sports writer late Dr. Felix Okugbe, whom he described as a hardworking and honest man, whom according to him, had on several occasions supported and guided him in the business of sports reportage.
Mallam Abubakar praised the Pillar of sports for the historic step at providing insurance cover for all the sports Journalists and wished the policy was activated before the death of Felix Okugbe.
He enjoined all Sports Writers to take advantage of the offer by the Pillar of Sports and get registered to benefit from the policy.
He used the forum to further appeal to members to be patient with the leadership of the association, assuring that more benefits await members as the association is on the move to secure more incentives for members to assist them in the discharge of their duties.
In his own speech, the Nigerian Pillar of Sports Chief Donatus Agu Ejidike said he understood the risks involved in the process of sports reporting by members of SWAN hence the need to protect their lives.
Ejidike promised to continuously bankroll the premium for the full insurance of all sports Journalists in Nigeria, as well as to continue his supports to the general development and growth of sports in Nigeria.
Ejidike who also doubles as the National president of the Nigeria Karate Association added that he was inspired and driven by passion to support sports in his capacity as a private Businessman.
He further assured SWAN members of his readiness to focus on things that will benefit the entire members of the association aside individual assistance and charged them to come up with programmes that will promote sports at the grassroots , more importantly those that will affect the youths in the troubled North Eastern part of Nigeria.
While unveiling the package, the Divisional Head Technical of Standard Alliance Insurance PLC Lagos Mr Olukolayo Ezekiel said the company was happy to be associated with SWAN, the Pillar of Sports and the sports fraternity in Nigeria.
He said the package would cover accident, sickness and death of any member registered under the scheme just as he added that forms would be provided to all the state chapters of SWAN nationwide through the national secretariat of SWAN in conjuction with their state and zonal offices to capture all registered members of the association.
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