Sports community, others laud President Tinubu’s dev’t strides

Mon, May 20, 2024
By editor


THE sports community and other stakeholders in Lagos have described President Bola Tinubu’s sports development strides within one year in office as significant for Nigeria.

They expressed their views in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.

According to Dehinde Ogunbiyi, member, Lagos State Basketball Association, Tinubu’s pro-sports policy so far is significant for the sports community to expect better days for the sector’s development.

He also told NAN that President Tinubu’s intentions for sports development in Nigeria had been inspiring during the period in focus.

Ogunbiyi said, ”His polices on sports are inspiring. The president has continued to recognise and award Nigeria’s representatives at global sports competitions.

”His pro-sports policies on his first year anniversary is iconic. He rewarded Nigeria’s silver-winning team at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) with gifts and national honours.

”The president also gave attention and recognition to medal winners at the 13th All Africa Games that held in Ghana.

”In all honesty, this administration has done a lot to encourage sporting events and activities since inception.”

He added that during this period the Federal Government also encouraged private companies to develop sports in Nigeria.

He also said that government at all levels needed to do more to encourage investments in sports by private organisations.

”Government needs to do less while private organisations need to take control of sporting activities through sponsorship.

”Government needs to hands off sponsorship of sporting activities.

”There should be a synergy between the private organisations and government in handling sporting activities.

”There should be less of government running sporting events and more of private organisations injecting their funds to develop sports.

”There should be leverage on tax where private individuals or cooperatives can feel the ease of sponsoring sporting activities right from the grassroots level,” Ogunbiyi said.

Similarly, Philip Braide, an ex-basketball player/stakeholder in development of basketball at the grassroots level, commended the Federal Government’s encouragement for sports during the year.

”This government hit the ground running by appointing Senator John Owan-Enoh as the Minister of Sports Development.

”The went round to interact with all sports federations and intimate them on how his tenure would look like,” he said.

Braided also told NAN that the presidency had recorded credible success by injecting funds for national teams at the right time.

”President Bola Tinubu released funds for football and the national team came back with the silver medal at the 2023 AFCON held in Cote D’Ivoire.

”It was the same way funds were released to D’Tigress that made them prepare well and came back victorious with the Nation’s Cup in basketball.

”This, also, was the case when teams were preparing for the 13th African Games in Ghana. It made the teams to prepare well. Also after the competition, athletes were rewarded for their efforts.

”Creating that enabling environment by injecting funds at crucial time of needs has thereby enhanced the performance of athletes,” Braide said.

Also, Femi Arigbagbu, a sports management stakeholder, told NAN that, driven by undiluted resolve to boost sports, the presidency’s Renewed Hope Agenda also spoke well of President Tinubu’s administration.

He said that it was such resolve that made the Minister of Sports Development to sign three Memoranda of Understanding with a Lagos-based company.

”Senator Owan-Enoh had announced that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with GTI Asset Management and Trust Limited to relaunch the Challenge Cup as the President Federation Cup.

”This they did in collaboration with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to reignite interest among fans and elevate the competition to global standards.

”The renamed competition will involve grassroots teams, create employment for approximately 500,000 Nigerians, engage more than one million football enthusiasts, and showcase our country’s greatness in the sport globally.

”The President Federation Cup will become President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s legacy championing Nigerian football,” Arigbagbu said.

President Tinubu’s strides in the development of para sports also received some positive commendations by stakeholders in the sport.

Charles Ezenwanne, President of Para Powerlifting Federation told NAN that President Bola Tinubu’s administration was proactive in the development of the sports during the year.

Ezenwanne said that the federation always got funds approval before tournaments since the inception of the present administration.

”This administration has been doing well since inception, we get approval of funds before embarking on foreign trips.

” We have enough time to prepare, unlike before where the lack of funds will hinder our training and delay us from traveling for such training or competitions.

”For us, this is the best so far; we have made our first and second trips during this administration. President Tinubu’s administration has promptly paid for our tournaments,” he said.

According to him, the new development has helped in encouraging the athletes at various levels to perform better in their competitions.

He said that his team also performed very well in the last international tournament where Nigeria garnered seven gold medals at Para World Cup in Egypt.

”The Super Eagles performance at the last AFCON in Cote D’Ivoire where we came second at the tourney was also a plus for this administration’s strides in football

”The president also gave them national honours despite their second position; this is an encouragement for them to perform better in the future,” he added.

Also, Folashade Oluwafemiayo, the Captain of Para powerlifting team, thanked the federal government for promoting the Para Powerlifting sport in Nigeria.

Oluwafemiayo urged government to do more in funding the sport to encourage the upcoming talents in Para Powerlifting.

”This administration has been doing well for us in Para Powerlifting sport, but we still want some private organisations to come to our aide by sponsoring our competitions like in the advanced countries.

”We want the organisations to step in by sponsoring our trips, camping and training.

“This development will assist the government a lot because government cannot do it alone. The sport ministry is very complex, with various sports federations under it.

”So, government can be a mediator between us and private organisations for sponsorship. It will also go a long way in developing sports generally in the country,” she said.(NAN)


May 20, 2024