With the urgent need for policy guidance to catalyze the development and repositioning of sport in Nigeria, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Sunday Dare, reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring full implementation of the policies and plans to boost the development of sport in Nigeria.
Sunday Dare said two major documents that would further catalyze its athletic development momentum would be ready on time and implemented to the letter.
The Minister said: “The National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) and Football Master Plan Committee will produce two sound documents which will further promote the development of the sport and provide a comprehensive framework to guide the development of the sport in the country”.
According to him, “We have succeeded in upgrading sports as a business and this is only a small part of a larger plan. The final draft of the national sports industry policy has been submitted to the Federal Ministry of Justice and we are confident that it would change the face of sport in the country.The policies are well thought out, necessitated by a need for guidance and sound in their approach, so although it may take a long time , it would leave a lasting impact,” the Minister added.
The minister further said that the Football Master Plan Development Committee, set up to develop football in the country, will submit its report in the first week of May, as part of plans to redesign Nigerian football.
*The journey here*
Telling how far it has come so far, thanks to the Minister’s Adopt-a-Sports Facility initiative, after 11 years of neglect, Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja has been given a complete rejuvenation, earning the passing grade of CAF/FIFA, as well as hosting major national and international sports activities. Additionally, the Surulere National Stadium is currently undergoing renovations after suffering 19 years of neglect. Sports facilities in Daura, Abuja and Lagos have all benefited from the drive. Sunday Dare said the initiative was designed to revitalize the country’s sports infrastructure and ensure its proper maintenance.
In addition, the Minister launched the Adopt an Athlete initiative which has seen over 32 athletes receive financial support in Naira and dollars to help reduce the burden of tournament attendances, medical costs and out-of-competition training.
In what has been a boost for the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), the Honorable Sunday Dare has given a clear mandate to the league management company (LMC) to enforce club licenses for teams, with the need to bring the games to the people through the NPFL. TV, as well as penalties for clubs that breach the League’s code of conduct.
By bringing Nigerian youth into the conversation, the ministry has set up the Talent Hunt program which incubates bright minds and helps them harness their talents.
In addition, two important Memorandum of Understanding agreements have been signed with the Presidents of Turkey and South Africa for the promotion and development of youth exchanges.
In a bid to include youth in national development, the minister organized the first-ever National Youth Conference with the participation of young people from across the country.
Sunday Dare reassured that no stone will be spared to ensure a lasting impact and sustainability of these programs, so that the country can reap the benefits of these initiatives.