FG’s Keep-Fit Policy: Noble Footprints of RMRDC Sports Club

By Emeka Nwankpa on June 22, 2022

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NEWS FEATURE

Contemporary global studies have shown that general productivity in the workplace is aggregate function of many factors such as good paper credentials, sound staff-friendly labour policies, conducive working environment, regular staff training and re-training programs and government-labour relations, among others. 

In recent times, public and private institutions have continued to shift attention and interest to policies and programs geared towards promoting staff sports and games such that specific days in the week, month and year are set aside for their staff to engage in games and sporting activities and competitions.    

Essentially viewed from purely health angle, sports and games, either through indoor or outdoor, have become a growing concern globally owing to frequent sudden deaths arising from increasing cases of cardiac arrests, heart failures and chronic diseases forcing health institutions and bodies across the world to advocate mechanisms that place health on the global front burner. 

According to health practitioners, a person who regularly plays sports develops a healthy body, better body strength and better coordination. The physical benefits also include maintaining a healthy weight, preventing chronic diseases and learning the skills necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Games and sports, taken further, also help individuals to develop sportsmanship, confidence, courage, tolerance and many other good qualities. Playing sports and games make the body and mind fresh just as games of sports make humans fit, active, fresh and social. They teach lessons of cooperation, duty and discipline as well as messages of brotherhood.

This is why sports and games have become major events in the human calendar. From school sports, it has moved to as far a height as national sports, continental sports, global sports and tournaments such as the AFCON, Olympics and the World Cup, etc. Sports and games have brought the world together in many ways positive. 

Only recently, the Sports Club congress of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) rose from its quarterly meeting recently in Abuja with a firm pledge to sustain the tempo activities on its monthly Walking/Jogging Exercise, Keep-fit exercise in the gym and its training for up-coming national sports events.   

The members at the congress meeting which drew a large attendance took turns to commend the executive committee currently led by the chairman, Mr. Lapai Umar Batako, for successfully hosting Abuja 2022 of the 17th edition of the Research Institutes Games Association of Nigeria (RIGAN).

Over 998 contingents drawn from 23 research institutes competed for medals and trophies in indoor and outdoor sporting events. The games was widely adjudged as very successful taking into account the strike embarked upon by research institutes in the country for which RIGAN is an umbrella body.

The chairman of the RMRDC Sports Club, Mr. Lapai Batako thanked the members for creating time to attend the meeting and particularly commended them for their various contributions towards the success of the last RIGAN games festival hosted by RMRDC in Abuja where the agency did very well by defeating the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), Benin in the soccer finals to win the coveted Gold medal.  

Shortly after the Report on the successful 2021 RIGAN Games was presented by the secretary-general, Mr. E. Aperua, came a torrent of comments and remarks by a cross-section of the members who took turns to commend the executive committee for a job well done.  

It will be recalled that research institutes which participated in the games included FRIN, NVRI, IAR & T/OAU in Ibadan, NAERLS/ABU in Zaria, NIS in Lagos, NIFOR, NBRRI in Abuja, NIFFRI in New Bussa, NAPRI/ABU in Zaria, NARICTS in Zaria, NASRDA in Abuja, IAR/ABU in Zaria, CRIN in Ibadan, NSORI in Ilorin, NIOMR in Lagos, NERDC, NITT in Zaria, NILEST in Zaria, PRODA in Enugu, NISER, NCRI in Badeggi, and NIPPS in Jos, among others.     

Mr. Batako assured the members that his executive committee was committed to working towards more successes in the activities of the Sports Club in the nearest future, stressing the need for the members to continue to give more support to the RMRDC management. He said that the management had displayed tremendous interest in the success of the Sports Club for which he requested the cooperation and prayers of the members.  

The members of the Sports Club seized the opportunity of the congress meeting to congratulate themselves for putting up a great showing at the series of events at the RIGAN games festival which was declared open by the immediate past Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation (now Minister of Environment), Hon. Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi.

They unanimously expressed appreciation to the RMRDC management headed by the DG/CEO, Professor Hussaini Ibrahim Doko whose moral support, assistance and understanding they said was largely responsible for the huge success of the RIGAN games and other laudable projects of the Sports Club.

‘’Our sports-loving DG/CEO, Professor Hussaini Doko Ibrahim gave us the necessary support and assistance which largely contributed to the success of the RIGAN games festival. In practical terms, he provided the game changer. Besides, he has been the reason why the current exco under me has been able to revive RMRDC Sports Club after years of inaction and coma. 

‘’He deserves our appreciation and our greater commitment to productivity in his efforts to achieve success in meeting the statutory goals and objectives of the RMRDC’’, remarked Mr. Lapai Umar Batako in his speech which was greeted with rounds of applause and a standing ovation that shook the agency’s Main Auditorium, venue of the congress meeting.

He informed the meeting that arrangements were being finalized by his executive council to commence training in July for the forth-coming 41st edition of FEPSGA games after the Eid-el-Kabir Sallah celebrations. It will be recalled that FEPSGA games for all Federal Public Service institutions in the country was established in 1980.

A commentator, Mr. Emeka Nwankpa yesterday noted that since the emergence of the Lapai Batako-led executive, RMRDC under Professor Hussain Doko Ibrahim has invested meaningfully in sports development in RMRDC to nurture and promote a mentally fit, physically healthy and highly motivated workforce for efficient and effective service delivery. 

According to him, the Sports Club has also maintained strict compliance with Federal Government’s monthly Walking/Jogging/Keep fit exercise for all public servants in the various MDA sports, describing It as a veritable tool for the promotion of mental alertness, physical fitness and motivated workforce.

‘’Today the average Nigerian public servant is a potential sportsman or woman, courtesy of the laudable establishment and consistent hosting of laudable tournaments such as RIGAN and FEPSGA . Of the two all sporting events, RIGAN has received overwhelming acclaim particularly judging from the excellent hosting which RMRDC displayed recently in Abuja. 

‘’The inherent beauty of the games as a melting pot of Nigeria’s diversity is its openness to people of different ethnic orientations, cultures, religion as well as all public services, institutions and establishments under one umbrella of friendship and co-existence, giving the civil and public servants the needed opportunity to keep fit, interact, exchange notes and ideas and make acquaintances during and after the games’’, he said.

The RIGAN president, Professor Feranmi Owolade had, shortly after the games festival expressed excitement that the event was held successfully despite the on-going nation-wide strike by research institutes. He remarked that the hitch-free outing eloquently signified another major achievement of the founding vision of RIGAN as a veritable and formidable platform to forge strategic synergy, harmony and collaboration among the nation’s research institutes towards the overall speedy growth and development of the country.     

According to him, the games festival recorded a higher turnout than the penultimate edition owing to factors he listed as aggressive mobilization and forceful drive by his national executive body, improved cooperation from his academic colleagues and the excellent preparation and organizational skills by the host agency, RMRDC management headed by the DG/CEO of RMRDC, Professor Hussaini Ibrahim Doko.

‘’The RMRDC showed they were well-prepared. We had perfect facilities, outstanding officiating and excellent environment. The RIGAN vision as a platform to forge harmony and synergy among research institutes has again been achieved. 

‘’NASRDA which made its first appearance at the games with about 100 contingents came 12th with 2 gold, one silver and three bronze. The games festival has united us as a big family where sport is a nucleus of national unity. We thank God’’, Professor Owolade said.  

The 40th Public Service Games under the auspices of the Federation of Public Service Games (FEPSGA) was last held in December 2021 in Ilorin where the NSCDC came first on the medal table with participating contingents competing in 15 events namely, football, handball, volley ball, basket ball, squash, tennis, table tennis, badminton, darts, athletics, swimming, scrabble, chess, draft board game and ayo.

Mr. Emeka Nwankpa maintained that since the emergence of the Lapai Batako-led executive, RMRDC under Professor Hussain Doko Ibrahim has invested meaningfully in sports development in RMRDC to nurture and promote a mentally fit, physically healthy and highly motivated workforce for efficient and effective service delivery. 

According to him, the Sports Club has also maintained strict compliance with Federal Government’s monthly walking/jogging/keep fit exercise for all public servants in the various MDA sports, describing It as a veritable tool for the promotion of mental alertness, physical fitness and motivated workforce, urging the members to again take advantage of the forth-coming FEPSGA tournament to socialize, make new friends and acquaintances across the country towards enhancing national unity. 

‘’Today the average Nigerian public servant is a potential sportsman or woman, courtesy of the laudable establishment and consistent hosting of the FEPSGA and RIGAN. 

‘’The uniqueness of the games as a melting pot of Nigeria’s diversity is its openness to people of different ethnic orientations, cultures, religion as well as all public services, institutions and establishments under one umbrella of friendship and co-existence, giving the civil and public servants the needed opportunity to keep fit, interact, exchange notes and ideas and make acquaintances during and after the games’’, he said.

It will be recalled that the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) obtained the hosting rights for the 17th edition of the 2021 RIGAN Games Festival from the National Executive Committee of the Research Institutes Games Association of Nigeria (RIGAN) in July, 2021. 

The games festival which has since become a prominent biennial event in the national calendar of sports fiesta was initially scheduled for December 2021 but postponed to the first quarter of this year 2022 at the instance of the immediate past Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.

 

Source SOUNDBITE NEWS

Posted on June, 22 2022

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