As sports development sector braces for better results delivery…

Recently, staff from Grade Level 14 to the top management of the sports sector, from all the states and zonal offices across the country, including the medical arm, gathered in Abuja to brainstorm on the re-evaluation of the inputs and contributions made to the success of sporting activities. 

This was a proper step taken in order to ensure that those invited, who are the managers of various sports and entrusted with the enormous responsibilities, understand the organisation and intricate workings of the ministry, its departments, and the collectivity of staff, with the aim of achieving the goals and objectives of the sports sector.

The presence of the Minister of Sports, Senator John Owan Enoh, and the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Watti Tinuke, was not only encouraging but also exemplified the spirit of humanity, togetherness, proper coordination, participation, involvement, and good leadership which are inviolable ingredients for successful human endeavour.

The two-day retreat, indirectly and directly, was also used to judge the altitude of the directors towards deliberation of the jobs scheduled to their subordinates, as well as gauge the effectiveness of their authorities as heads of departments and units. However, their physical presence during the interactive deliberations fostered togetherness, being the first in a circular time that a minister gave an opportunity to his staff to freely exchange their views. 

Biblically, it is said in the book of Amos chapter 3 verse 3, that except two agree, they cannot walk together. The minister remains one of the best gifts that President Bola Tinubu gave to the ministry, despite his financial support, that boosted the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and the players that represented the country at the AFCON game held in Ivory Coast. The president himself was seen on video watching and rejoicing with our footballers as they rolled to the finishing stage of finals. 

Remarkably, sports journalists have attested to the fact that the new sports administration is fervent with its mission, which is “to be the vehicle that will bring back  liveliness to Nigerian sports lovers and become a source of national cohesion and tangible livelihood for all who partake in sports”. This is in sync with the philosophy of sports as a strategic tool for national unity, job, creation, and enabler of significant revenue generation, and GDP growth.

It is remarkable that the minister and the permanent secretary, who are less than six months old in this very technical ministry, have fast understood the system with the initiative of organising a Townhall Meeting early this year to enable them to further understand their staff and the challenges hindering their fruitfulness as expected. Reciprocally, staff took the opportunity of the hearty discussion with their principals to express and explore avenues to unravel the secret of success that will enhance the professional contribution of staff to the development of sports. 

It will suffice to say that the rapt attention to details and the humility of the pair of the minister and permanent secretary are potent enablers and strong tools that have brought out efficiencies of staff and accommodated individual ideas that enhance service wide delivery in sports development.

Significantly, the gathering of all sports staff across the globe, and the presence of the sports managers and the engaged consultants opened their horizon to understand the dynamics for effective result delivery and the attainment of targets and honours.

It is again noteworthy that the different units and departments in the ministry can now differentiate and delineate their expected responsibilities and designations. Not only do they know their defined responsibilities and jobs schedules, the gathering made it possible for them to draw up an organogram that makes departmental staff relevant as well as focused.

Finally, whereas the sports ministry in the past was faced with the accusation of not giving media correspondents enough opportunity to fully disseminate information to the general public, the present administrators of sports development recognise the importance of information dissemination especially as sports is an area of great interest globally, thus their effort to make the press very relevant in their designations and communication.

The minister, in particular, always acknowledges both their sensitive responsibility and their mandatory responsibility as service wide mouthpiece, conveyers and interpreters of policies of government, functions of the sports ministry, and to ensure, above all, that information gets to the  grassroots.

Felicia Mammah Nwokorie is press officer, Ministry of Sports Development