Sports

Sen. Enoh lists string of achievements in sports sector

"We have embarked on reforms that would reposition Nigerian sports globally and return us to our erstwhile greatness"

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Sen. John Enoh, the Minister of Sports Development, has outlined a series of reforms he has implemented since taking office.

He has also identified some of the challenges impeding the country’s sports development and growth.

In a keynote address at the 1st National Council on Sports meeting in Enugu on Wednesday, the minister said that despite the myriad of problems he encountered on the ground, he has initiated a raft of reforms and policies in his concerted effort and commitment to launch sports on the path of development.

According to Enoh, having aggregated the problems and challenges that continue to hinder the development of sports, he launched WAIFAR, a 6-point agenda that he envisioned to champion the welfare of athletes, adopt sports as a business, activate early-age sports, and reposition the sports federations for impact.

He said:”Over the past months, I have traversed the length and breadth of Nigeria, listening to everyone. We have embarked on reforms that would reposition Nigerian sports globally, return us to our erstwhile greatness, and also give our sportsmen and women that single thing they have sought for years—that Nigeria loves and cares for them as much as they love and care for Nigeria.”

In addition to the ongoing implementation of these reforms, the minister underscored ground-breaking partnerships the Ministry of Sports Development has forged with the private sector.

Under his guidance and leadership, he said the Ministry of Sports Development signed an agreement with Yanga Games Technologies (YGT), a private sector company to help Nigerian sports raise N35 billion over the next four years to augment budgetary allocations from the Federal government, struck an MOU with Effa Management Ltd. to help create facility clusters in the six geopolitical zones, and signed an agreement with GTI to reintroduce and revamp the competition formerly known as the Challenge Cup, now to be known as the President Federation Cup, among other things.

Harping on the impact of sports on the socio-economic development of the country, Enoh noted that substantial investment in sports infrastructure, talent development, and grassroots programs will not only nurture athletic excellence but stimulate local economies, create employment opportunities, and promote healthier lifestyles.

He urged the council to focus on some key priorities during its deliberations in order to harness the potential of sports for national development.

The key priorities, according to him, include leveraging sports to bridge divides and strengthen the bonds of unity among citizens, the empowerment of local communities through sports initiatives to identify and nurture talents, the enhancement of sports infrastructure nationwide, strategic investments in sports for significant socio-economic dividends, youth empowerment and development, international partnerships, private-public-partnerships, and inclusivity and accessibility.

The minister thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the support he has continued to provide for sports development in the country.

“Recently, as you would recall, Mr. President approved the sum of N12 billion in intervention for football that enabled participation at AFCON and other competitions in addition to settling outstanding backlogs.

“From my several interactions with His Excellency, Mr. President, I want to assure you all that the best days for sports in Nigeria lie ahead of us.,” he said.

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