Vice President Namadi Sambo at the weekend in Port Harcourt said that the government was prepared to harness the sporting potentials of Nigerian youths to further develop the country.
Sambo, who disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the 17th National Sports Festival, said it was important to do so because sports had become a potent tool of development.
“Sports globally is a potent tool of development, not only in the area of infrastructure development but in providing gainful employment as well as enhancing healthy lifestyles
“This is why government is ready to maximise the gains inherent in sports development, and especially in supporting and promoting programmes such as this sports festival.”
The Vice President said government had realised the importance of sports in the way many countries use their sports heroes as sports ambassadors and image projectors.
“We will continue to enhance sporting activities at all levels, knowing full well the role sports plays in nation-building, as well as in projecting the country’s image.”
Sambo noted that the fiesta had revealed a lot of young and new talents, and urged the National Sports Commission (NSC) not to relent in its efforts at improving on the festival.
“With the kind of performances witnessed at this festival, I have no doubt that the athletes that would serve Nigeria better at the 2012 Olympic Games have been identified.
“The NSC should therefore ensure that they are well-managed. The NSC should not relent in working at transforming the festival and making it a brand that will be revered worldwide.
“The responsibility of the commission should not also stop at that but should include ensuring that the athletes discovered here are projected more to be able to win more laurels for the country.”
Sambo lauded the Rivers government for hosting the festival and committing huge resources into the provision of new facilities.
He, therefore, called on the state government to ensure that the facilities were properly used and maintained.
“The benefits of hosting, far outweighs the quantum of funds that have been sunk into hosting the festival. Yet Rivers must make sure that the facilities serve us for a long time.
“Government must ensure that the facilities are not allowed to disintegrate. There should be proper utilisation of the facilities through maintenance and the organisation of more competitions,” Sambo said.
He said the private sector must come in to not only provide more facilities, but work hand in hand with government to ensure constant and proper utilisation of the facilities.
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
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