The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, says the Federal Government will embrace Public Private Partnership(PPP) in transforming the sports sector.
He said this on Sunday after inspecting facilities at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan.
Tidesports gathered that Dare was conducted round the facilities at the stadium by the Zonal Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development Mr Femi Ajao.
Dare, who had visited some other stadia across the country, said he placed premium on some of them that were national monuments.
Among those listed on the premium list are Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna; National Stadium, Lagos; Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja and Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan.
The minister, who said that efforts of management and maintenance of the facilities in the past few years were not sufficient enough, promised that the facilities would engage his attention in terms of upgrade, maintenance and management.
“I am really impressed that we have such a structure built over 64 years ago. It is still standing, but it has suffered years of neglect and lack of maintenance.
“We have seen here that efforts have been made in the past few years, but we have seen that efforts of upgrading, maintenance and management have not been sufficient enough.
“I have seen the indoor sports hall, main bowl, swimming pool and training pitches.
“ I have seen that we need to inject some funds and bring this place back to work. We are going to work on our new public private partnership model,” he said.
Dare said that there were plans to bring activities back to the stadia, adding that the ministry’s first assignment was to ensure the right facilities were in place.
He listed adopt-a-pitch, adopt-a-sports centre and adopt-an-athlete as some of the ongoing campaigns of the ministry aimed at bringing the private sector to fix some of the facilities.
“When we complete the detailed programme, we intend to invite the private sector to adopt the pitches and fix them.
“ I am sure on an incremental basis, you will see the efforts of the ministry and the private sector.
“We can bring back the glory. You know sports is a big business globally. We are going to look at the new business model we have built around sports.
“We want to bring back Kaduna, Abuja, Lagos and Ibadan. Once we bring back these facilities, we can have such championships coming back to Ibadan,” he said.
The minister, who affirmed that there was paucity of funds, said there would be novel ideas and initiatives aimed at bringing funds back to sports from the public and private sectors.
Speaking on the welfare of sports men and women, he said that the ministry would initiate ‘Athletes Susteinance Fund’ and ‘Sports Trust Fund’ as being practised globally in sports.
“ The components of this are being worked out right now. We know that the welfare of sports men and women is very important and insurance is very critical,’’he said.
LG Football Councils Appoint Chairman, Secretary
Rivers State Local Government Football Councils(RSLGC), has appointed the Chairman of Gokana Football Council, Martins Giadom as it’s Coordinator and Chinasa Elekwachi of the Onelga FC as Secretary.
In a meeting held in Port Harcourt last week, the 23 Football Councils in Rivers State agreed that the election of Martins Giadom and Chinasa Elekwachi as Chairman and Secretary, respectively will serve as a clearing house for a formidable grassroot sports development to support the good works of the State FA Board led by Barr. Christopher Green.
The LG FCs resolved to be proactive in their dealings with the Executive Chairmen of Council such that their impact will be felt as partners in progress
The LG Football Councils further agreed to regularly present major issues and challenges before the State FA Board for consideration.
It called for the resuscitation of the moribund Rivers State Governor’s Cup, urging relevant authorities to take action on the matter in the interest of football development in Rivers State.
The body stressed the need for all LGA FCs to be encouraged to run Football related activities within their jurisdiction, report and restrain non stakeholders from setting up political football committees who will further usurp the duties of LG Football Councils at the various Local Council Areas in the State.
Navy To Sponsor Team In NPL
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Eastern Naval Command, Olusola Oluwagbire, has disclosed plans by the Navy to sponsor a football team in the Nigeria Football League.
Oluwagbire said this at the opening of the maiden edition of FOC Eastern Naval Command Intra-Command football competition in Calabar at the weekend.
Oluwagbire said the essence of the competition was to re-engineer the physical fitness and inspire a sense of comradeship in the personnel.
“This competition is to bring together officers, civilian staff and corps members with us together to re-engineer their physical fitness.
“It is also aimed at strengthening the relationship among the personnel and also to maintain their mental alertness.
“It has been long in coming and we are thankful that we finally got it off today,” he stated.
Oluwagbire who was elated with the turnout of teams for the competition, said it would be sustained.
In a remark, the Speaker of the Cross River House of Assembly, Elvert Ayambem, called for the sustainability of the competition, adding that the state governments have plans to revive sports.
More Nigerian Wrestlers Will Qualify For Olympics –Comptroller General
The acting Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Adewale Adeniyi, has expressed optimism that more Nigerian wrestlers will qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
He stated this on Saturday in Abuja after the inauguration of the ‘Work-Life Balance’ initiative which is a routine 5km brisk walk exercise meant to keep officers and men of the NCS physically and mentally fit.
Adeniyi who is also a board member of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) said this against the backdrop of only one Nigerian female wrestler securing Olympic qualification in the just concluded World Wrestling Championships in Serbia.
The tude source reports that only three-time Commonwealth Champion, Odunayo Adekuoroye, secured a bronze medal in the women’s 57kg category at the just concluded Championship, to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics Games.
Team Nigeria was represented by six female wrestlers at the championships.
The customs boss however maintains there is no cause for alarm, as there are still two more pre-Olympics qualifiers, where he hopes more Nigerian male and female wrestlers will qualify.
“I am not disappointed with the performance of the wrestling team in Serbia.
“The competition in Serbia is one of the various competitions lined-up to get slots at the Paris Olympics, there are still one or two championships.
“I am very sure there will be one (championships) in March in Egypt and those of our athletes who did not get the ticket, would have the opportunity to do so,” he said.
Adeniyi said with the quality of wrestlers in camp and the continued training and exposure being given to them, the sky is the limit.
“What we had in Serbia was just our women team, we also have our men in camp and they are in top condition.
“I believe our male and female teams stand a very chance with the level of preparation and exposure we are going to give them ahead of the outing in March,” he said.
On the ‘Work-Life Balance’ initiative, the Customs CG expressed optimism that the initiative will lead to better wellbeing and productivity for officers and men of the NCS.
The theme for the Saturday’s Walk/ exercise is: “balancing for better tomorrow “ and it had participants from other para-military agencies.
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