Director General National Sports Commission (NSC) Dr Patrick Ekeji
By Olawale Ajimotokan
The technical committee of experts for the implementation of sports cooperation and youth development between Nigeria and Niger Republic was inaugurated Tuesday in Abuja.
The agreement was sequel to a protocol signed in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State in 2011 during the 37th session of ministers at the Joint Commission of Nigeria and Niger.
Under the deal, the two West African neighbours agreed to corporate in four core sports- football, traditional sports, basketball and volleyball.
The experts from both countries have till Thursday to fine tune the details of the agreement.
A strong Nigerien delegation led by Karam Fouja Grema and other diplomats met with the Nigerian technical officials who were led to the occasion led by the Director General National Sports Commission (NSC) Dr Patrick Ekeji.
Ibrahim Bako, who represented the Ambassador of Niger to Nigeria; the Secretary General of the Nigeria/ Niger Joint Commission Ambassador Abubakar Abduljeleel Sulaiman and the Assistant Secretary of the Commission Ambassador Mrs Aminata Toure Maiga, were among the diplomats present at the inauguration, to work out the modalities of the protocol.
Sulaiman said that the sports corporation would help in the sharing of experience particularly in football where Nigeria is strong and traditional wrestling which is an area of interest to Niger.
The experts will draw a comprehensive programme of activities to cover 2014- 15 and will result in the mutual invitation of athletes from the two countries participate in their sporting activities.
Ekeji, who described the inauguration as demonstration of efforts to strengthen ties, said that the agreement would assist the two countries in achieving some of the Millennium Development Goals on youth engagements.