Dalung declares state of emergency on Nigerian sports

Solomon Dalung• To set up another committee to review Sports Reform report

Following the dismal performance of Nigerian athletes at the just-concluded Olympic Games in Brazil, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has declared a state of emergency on the sports industry in the country.

Speaking in Abuja during the formal presentation of report by the committee he set up to restructure Nigerian sports, the minister said the state of emergency is expected to last until the ministry develops a roadmap on the development of sports in the country.

He also disclosed that he would set up another committee to study the reports of the Sports Reform Committee.He noted that the roadmap would contain inputs from stakeholders in the sporting industry, adding that Nigeria’s outing in Rio, even though it is better than that of the London Olympics, does not befit the country’s status as a nation.

“There is a need for us not to go back with the normal result… we are indeed in the state of emergency in the sports industry because of lack of functionability of so many components of the industry and we need to implement the report, declare a state of emergency, take up based on the recommendation from the foundation up, this will require taking extraordinary measures in order to reposition the sport industry. And part of the measures is to take a holistic appraisal of the entire sports industry, look at so many things, the way we have been doing them, audit some of the things that need to be audited, look at our facilities and see how we can position them in accordance with the position we are in.

“We shall immediately put in place the committee that will review the report, get ready their recommendations within a short time and kick start them immediately.”Dalung assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would implement the recommendations of the Sports Reform Committee.

The minister noted that the ministry would organise a stakeholders validation meeting from October 6 to 8 to review and adopt the document as property of the Nigerian sports.

He added that the Ministry would set up a white paper committee immediately after the review meeting for the purpose of identifying the issues requiring gazetting and advising government on how to go about achieving this.

He also explained that the ministry would also work assiduously to ensure that the algal and institutional requirements needed to get the industry functional are activated within the shortest time possible.

Presenting the report to the Minister earlier at the event, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Godwin Kienka urged the minister to ensure the proper implementation of the report.

“There have been concerns that this reports will be consigned to the dustbin like others before it. I do not believe this will be the case.”Kienka added that the committee has worked assiduously to come up with the report and can guarantee that if 80 per cent of it is implemented Nigeria will be among the top 10 nation’s at the 2024 Olympics.

He lamented that the sports industry in the country was run like a cult.“No one knows what the sports federations gets from the IOC and their international federations and from other bodies by way of grants and counterpart funding. The nation and Sports men and women deserve to know,” he said.

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Solomon Dalung
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