Para-Sports Can Generate N25bn in One Year, Says Iwuanyanwu

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Olawale Ajimotokan 
Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc. (NSDFI), Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has challenged the Board of the Nigeria Para Sports Development Fund to create three million jobs and raise about N25billion this year to change the face of para sports in the country.

Iwuanyanwu who gave the charge in Abuja at the inauguration of a nine-man board of the para-sport body, said that it has been the dream of NSDFI that raised money towards Super Eagles qualification for USA ‘94 to socially impact on the nation.

“We have commenced with the first of the 36 Community Sports Development centres in Offa, Kwara State. By the time we deliver these complete, no less than one million children will be involved. The six National Sports Development Centres and then, announce the 90 elite athletes we want to specially prepare from now for a minimum of 10 medals in Tokyo 2020, you will appreciate where we are going.

“The children and youths in Nigeria seem to have lost hope in the nation. It is even worse with those living with disabilities. When you deliver your tasks, hope will be a thing of the past while they will realize the ability inherent in them. Sports industry in Nigeria is bigger than the oil industry if we marshal our resources well.”

In his response, the Chairman of the governance board, Dr Mike Omotosho thanked Iwuanyanwu for nurturing sports and laying a solid foundation for the trustees to build on.

“The task ahead is not a small feat, fundraising especially in Nigeria is tough, and this is also happening at a difficult time in our Nation, however, we shall surpass expectations and accomplish our vision. The funds raised will be transparently used to develop leagues in para sports, create productive cooperatives for People With Disabilities (PWDs), and help them set sustainable vocational enterprises,’’ Omotoso

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability, Dr Samuel Ankeli lauded the vision and leadership of Iwuanyanwu for nurturing the NSDFI and for making a platform to privately raise sports fund for people with disability possible.

Other members of the committee are Dr. Joy Agi, Pastor Gabriel Amawachi, Hajia Amina Ahmed, Chief Mary Onyali, General Lonsdale Adeoye and Prince David Ayuba (Secretary). Others are: a member of the Paralympics Committee of Nigeria, and NSDFI.