Dare Gives Conditions for Restoratio­n of National Sports Commission

- Olawale Ajimotokan ÓØ ÌßÔË

Sports Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare, has tabled conditions that must be fulęlled before the National Sports Commission (NSC) can return.

He served the conditions yesterday during the public hearing for the Bill to return the National Sports Commission by the Senate Sports CommiĴee.

While declaring his support for the return of the NSC, he said the revived sports commission must benchmark what obtains in other parts of the world.

He added that another option is to amend the existing Decree 34 of 1971 which is still subsisting in addition to passing a new Bill to give it Constituti­onal backing.

"Let me thank the chairman of the Senate CommiĴee on Youth and Sports and all the CommiĴee members on behalf of all sports loving Nigerians for undertakin­g this public hearing.

“It demonstrat­es your interest in the developmen­t of sports in our country. But beyond that interest is the commitment to see that necessary actions and legislatio­ns are in place to guide sports developmen­t in Nigeria.

“Amending the existing Decree 34 of 1971 which is still subsisting or promising a new bill are possible options," Dare stressed.

He also added that any nation that intends to develop sports must see it as a big business.

The minister said sports as business policy and orientatio­n opens the doors for investment­s from the organised private sector, adding government­s are not longer the sole investors in sports developmen­t.

" rivate sector participat­ion drives sports, rewards athletes, creates jobs, drives manufactur­ing, generated revenue and contribute­s to the GD .

“At the ministry, we have in the past 18 months been busy working with

critical stakeholde­rs to deliver a New Sports Industry olicy (NSI ), that will change the face and fundamenta­ls of our sports developmen­t.

“It is an aĴempt to build a business model around sports in Nigeria so that like we have in North America, Europe, South Africa and other climes, Nigeria’s sports developmen­t can be driven by both government and private funds".

On re-classięcat­ion of sports, he aĜrmed that the Sports Ministry has successful­ly secured the re-classięcat­ion of sports from being a mere recreation to business.

He said resident Muhammadu Buhari in Council has approved this reclassięc­ation of sports as a business in Nigeria, adding in principle, the policy that will drive this will soon be ready as it is in its ęnal stages.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Sports Writers’ Associatio­n of Nigeria (SWAN) FCT chapter, Mr Bunmi Haruna has called for the inclusion of the body on NSC board.

He stated this in his presentati­on at the Senate CommiĴee on Sports public hearing on the bill seeking to establish the National Sports Commission and the Federal Sports University, Nkalagu, Ebonyi State.

“Those who should have a say in sports should be part of the National Sports CommisThe sion, NSC. Hence, the Sports Writers Associatio­n of Nigeria (SWAN) should be included in the board,” Haruna said.

“The importance of the NSC is such that we cannot resort to not include the body that acts as a bridge between the sportsmen, administra­tors, the people and invariably the private sector in it. Sports is business and SWAN is the vehicle on which it is sold, so neglecting SWAN in the compositio­n of the NSC is omiĴing an important part of the commission.

He also believes it is of great importance to smoothen the relationsh­ip between the director general of the commission and minister of Sports to foster beĴer working atmosphere between both parties.

“We also observe that the power tussle between the Minister and the Director General, NSC was largely responsibl­e for the scraping of the commission the last time.

“So there is great need for a clear demarcatio­n of the duties of these principal oĜcers in the new look NSC.”

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