The president of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Habu Gumel, has reiterated the desire of the committee to use its just concluded annual general meeting in Abuja to re-evaluate the performance of the nation’s sport through the various sport associations and plan for the packed 2017, 2018 and 2019 calendars.
“All the games – the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2019, All Africa Youth Games in 2018, the All Africa Games in 2019 amongst others – must be prepared for from now. We must have a long-term plan, to prevent scurrying around confused when the games are near.
“I was in Tokyo and discovered that more than 40 mini-Olympic villages were in place, with prospective hosts inspecting the facilities.
“We will visit Tokyo in January to go make our own arrangements; we will not wait for 2020.
“We are not working alone; the Ministry of Youth and Sport Development is with us and is getting detailed reports on what we are doing, so that they can give us all the support. Also, the sport federations are being carried along.”
Also, Gumel called on corporate organisations to throw their weights behind the nation’s sport initiatives, so as to ensure that the nation’s contingent to any of the international meets yields fruits.
“They need to give us all the support they can, to cushion the effort the government is making. This is the truth.”
Gumel conceded that the elections for many associations were close and that the NOC would do all its power to ensure that in-fighting are kept at a minimum and, as a result, do not negatively affect the activities lined up for the year.
“We will apply logic and diplomacy as civilized people and everything will be fine. We must do better in the coming years than we did in 2016,” he assured.