The National Sports Commission (NSC) on Tuesday in Abuja inaugurated the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for
the proposed Bash Ali Guinness World Book of Records’ title fight.

The NSC Chairman, Bolaji Abdullahi who inaugurated the 14-man committee, members, tasked the members on ensuring the successful project of staging the fight within the first quarter of 2014.
“I am tasking you (the LOC) with the enormous responsibility of ensuring the success of the project, which is to actualise Bash Ali’s dream of being one of the oldest boxers to be involved in a

“I expect you to immediately get to work and complete your assignment within the first quarter of this year,” he said.

Abdullahi who is also the Sports
Minister said the project was

“purely private sector-driven”,
and government was not expected
to be involved financially and directly in the fight’s staging.

“The Federal Government is however committed to providing the enabling environment which would make the fight a pleasurable and memorable experience,” he said.

The sports minister told the LOC
to, among other terms of reference, galvanise all sources of support and funding through marketing and promotion.

“This is to meet the requirements of protocol, logistics and event management.

“You are also to engage the services of credible promoters, and undertake the packaging of the fight in an efficient, effective,transparent and accountable
manner,” he said.

Abdullahi, who warned that government would not condone

“any sloppiness or act that will undermine Nigeria’s integrity’’ in
staging the fight, commended Ali
for his determination and commitment to the fight.

Earlier, while speaking, the NSC Director-General, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, had said Bash Ali was able to achieve his dream through hard work and perseverance.

He urged the LOC members to use the opportunity to write their names in gold by rewriting the African boxing history.

“I urge you (the LOC members) to seize this opportunity to write your names in gold. You have been given the mandate to organise and deliver the fight in line with international best practices.

“Please bear in mind that you now have the responsibility to rewrite the African boxing history with the view of catapulting it to an enviable height,“ Elegbeleye said.

The LOC Chairman, Hon. Bala Kaoje, said Bash Ali deserved commendation for still struggling for so many years to
have his name written in the Guinness Book of world records.

He said he was excited to see the LOC inaugurated after seven years, saying the event marked a countdown of events which would put Nigeria firmly on the world’s sports map.

Kaoje who is also a former Sports
Minister however appreciated President Goodluck Jonathan for approving the event.

“The committee will work hard to ensure that Bash Ali wins the fight and make a remarkable impact in the world,” he said.

The LOC also has Otunba Benson Akingboye, the fight’s promoter, as one of its members.

Other members of the LOC include
Abdullahi Hussaini, Remi Aboderin
and Abdulkadiri Suleiman, representing the PDP, the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C) and Nexim Bank respectively. Also on the committee are Ojile Ogbans, Musa Maiyaki, Victor
Kodesoh, Sina Abimbola and Emmanuel Avworo, representing the NSC, NTA, AIT, FRCN and the Bash Ali Boxing Project.

The rest are representatives of the
Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, Bank of Industry (BOI), Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) and Globacom, with the LOC nominating its Secretary and Assistant Secretary.

The inauguration of a committee for the fight was earlier planned for Nov. 9, 2006.But the sports authorities had
argued that it was not for government to fund professional boxing, insisting that the project really had no bearing on the country’s sports development.

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