Minister/Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi
By Edhowo Enakeno and Hope Adeyemi
The Minister/Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has charged the new board of the Nigeria Academicals Sports Committee (NASCOM), to assist the nation to restore the old era of effective sports participation and competitiveness in our secondary schools.
Speaking at the inauguration of the new 12-member board headed by Yemi Idowu, in Abuja Wednesday, Abdullahi said that there were future stars waiting to be discovered to make Nigeria the number one sporting nation in the continent and beyond.
“In doing this you need to be honest about the true identify, age and talents of the student athletes, such that their performances could be sustained over a period of time,” observed the former youth development minister.
He revealed that the board members were carefully selected to help in reviving sporting activities in our secondary schools.
“The National Sports Commission therefore has selected responsible men and women of high integrity as well as representatives of relevant MDAs and youth organisations into the new NASCOM Board in the drive to reviving sporting activities in our secondary schools,” he noted.
Abdullahi recalled that the glorious days of Nigerian sports witnessed a large pool of elite athletes coming from the school system.
“The likes of Mary Onyali, Innocent Egbunike, Falilat Ogunkoya, Chioma Ajunwa, the late Sunday Bada, etc were discovered from schools,” stressed the NSC chairman.
While thanking President Goodluck Jonathan for his message to Nigerian youths at the last Presidential Sports Retreat in Abuja, he said that the reconstitution of the board of NASCOM was part of this administration’s effort and strategic plan to reposition sports at the schools’ level to facilitate discovery of budding sports talents.
The Terms of Reference for the Board include; To review and evolve a structure and organization of academicals sports competition in the relevant sports disciplines; To determine and adopt rules for academicals sports competitions in the country; To liaise with other sports stakeholders and agencies so as to ensure proper synergy in operations; To seek for sponsorships for academicals sports competitions; And to carry out effective diaspora grassroots talent discovery and nurturing in the relevant academicals sports.
Other members of the new board include; Fela Bank-Olemo, Ibrahim Muhammed , Olabisi Joseph, Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, Kola Olepoju, Lawrence Oduah, Felix Awogu, Victoria Roland Kayode, Ayotunde Adelakun and Lizzy Onyenwenwa. Ohimai Amaize is secretary of the reconstituted NASCOM board.