Sports Reform Committee in Abuja for Second Retreat

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The Sports Reform Committee set up by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, to restructure Nigerian sports for effective development will begin a second retreat in Abuja starting today.

The Abuja retreat is coming on the heels of the maiden edition in Lagos which featured presentations from the private sector led by the president and Chairman in Council of the Nigeria – British Chamber of Commerce, Prince Dapo Adelegan.

Adelegan, had insisted at the weekend in Lagos said that sports development in the 21st century anywhere in the world, especially more so in Nigeria, should be driven by persons with a serious business mindset.

As the guest speaker at an open session of the Sports Reform Committee at the boardroom of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, he said “we cannot use 20th century practices to solve 21st century problems.

“The 21st century is a ‘no jobs’ century with information communication technology (ICT) wiping off most jobs as one computer can do the job of 30 persons working manually. Banks are retrenching because with ATM cards less desk cashiers are needed for example.

“Therefore, sports which is one of the three competencies needed to survive must therefore be run by intelligent, knowledgeable business minds who know where the money is and can position and package their sports to attract capital.”

Continuing, the renowned business consultant said: “to attract indigenous private and foreign investment, sports in Nigeria has to be democratised and taken out of the hands of the bureaucracy and glamourised.”

The parley also featured a session with Lagos based sports editors from television, radio and newspaper houses who rubbed minds with the committee on the problems stalling sports development in Nigeria.

However, the Abuja retreat, according to a statement from the committee “will have an open house on Thursday, April 28, featuring a presentation from a public sector individual and a parley with Abuja-based sports editors.”

The Committee has seven terms of reference which are:
i) Design a new architecture that will restructure Nigerian sports from a service oriented model to a development oriented one that will enhance effective and enduring sports development in Nigeria.
ii) Identify the major obstacles to sports development in Nigeria

iii) Develop a sustainable framework for sports development which will build a strong base for the systematic discovery, identification, training and deployment of athletes into sporting activities.

iv) Develop a holistic framework, including institutional, legal and other arrangements to professionalise sports and provide alternative career options for our teeming youth with clearly established career path for athletes in all sporting fields.

v) Recommend ways of reconstituting the sports federations/associations in a way that all stake holders have a say and attract passionate, knowledgeable and resourceful leadership.
vi) Identify, suggest and recommend alternative sources of revenue for the funding of sports development in Nigeria.

vii) Come up with other considerations which in the opinion of the committee will lead to the repositioning of Nigerian sports for effective and enduring development.
The committee which has until July 14 to submit its report has Godwin Kienka as chairman.
Members are; Babatunde Fatayi-Williams, Prof. Florence Adeyanju, Chief Segun Odegbami, Col. Sam Ahmedu (rtd), Chief Mary Onyali, Bola Orodele, Yusuf Datti, Kayode Thomas, Ayo Olubato, Dr Ademola Aare, Waziri Laminu and Despan Kwardem.