Shape up or be eased out, Dare tells federation presidents, secretaries

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has told various sporting Federation Presidents, Secretaries and board members to leave up to expectations in order to bring the needed innovative and progressive ideas in the sports sector.

Dare who spoke when he met with Sports Federation Secretaries in Abuja on the immediate implementation of the newly approved National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP), wondered why those expected to bring value to sports have not leaved up to expectations.

At the meeting which was held at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, the Minister informed the Secretaries that with the recent approval of the policy by the Federal Executive Council, the funding and control of sports development will be handled by both the private and public sectors.

“Henceforth, the funding and control of sports development going forward will be 50-50 between the private sector and government”, he said.

Dare explained that the new policy will thrive on 3 ‘i’s – infrastructure, incentives and investment. To this end,  he added, “football, basketball, table tennis, hockey and all other games will no longer be for recreation alone, but for business as well as recreation”.

The Minister who noted that no Industry can thrive without investment, stated further that through this policy, a lot of investments can be attracted into the sports sector which will not only contribute to the socio-economic development of the country but also create an opportunity for our teeming youth to showcase their sporting talents as well as compete favourably with their counterparts globally.

Dare expressed optimism that the policy will open up access to grants for athletes, stressing that already, an independent athletes welfare fund has been set up which will be ceded by the government to cater for athletes’ wellbeing.

While emphasising that government will have zero tolerance for anything untoward among athletes, he assured that a disclaimer will immediately be issued on any athlete found wanting. 

The Minister therefore called on them to refrain from any practice capable of denting the image of the nation.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, thanked the Federal Executive Council and President Muhammadu Buhari in particular, for approving the National Sports Industry policy, explaining that with its implementation, Nigerian sports industry will witness a boom in the shortest possible time.

He assured that the Ministry will create an enabling environment for the full implementation of the Policy and therefore called on the Secretaries to support the efforts of the Federal Government to give the Sports Industry a face-lift by taking right steps to achieve full implementation of the Policy.