Nigerian Government directs re-organisation of Sports sector
By Lawan Hamidu, Abuja; with additional agency reports
President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a comprehensive re-organisation of the sports sector, following the abysmal performance of the Nigerian contingent to the 2012 London Olympics.
Minister of Information, Labaran Maku disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the president.
He said “President Goodluck Jonathan today ordered a total and comprehensive re-organisation of the sports sector, following the disappointing performance of the Nigerian contingent to the London 2012 Olympics.
“The president accordingly directed a national retreat, which will involve state governments as well as the private sector, to re-order priorities in the Nigerian sporting sector.
“He said what took place in London must be the beginning of a new momentum to place Nigerian sports at a level that would enable this country to return to its past glory in the area of sports.”
The way forward
President Jonathan, Maku said, believes there is a need to specialise, plan and fund sports in a way that Nigeria will continue to make an impact in the world of sports.
He also called for a new direction in sports management, as well as adequate funding and effective planning.
Maku said the President, like other Nigerians, was not pleased with the performance of the contingent to the 2012 London Olympics and directed that remedial actions be taken to prepare the country for better performances in subsequent competitions.
He explained that the re-organisation process would be comprehensive and would include the nation’s sporting policies.
The President, according to the minister, underscored the need for a re-examination of national attitudes and commitment to competitions.
He said the country also needed to identify specific sports in which to concentrate energy and resources.
According to him, the identified specialised sports will be the nation’s priority, for which Nigeria will be identified in global competitions.
He said that all stakeholders, including states, the Federal Government and the private sector, must be carried along in the re-organisation process.
Maku assured Nigerians that in the next couple of weeks, actions would be taken to ensure the total overhaul of the sector.
Nigeria spent 2.2 billion Naira to participate in the London Olympics but brought nothing home to show for the huge expenditure.
The United States, China and host-Great Britain, emerged first, second and third respectively, on the final medals table.