House Moves Against Sports Ministry, Proposes Executive Secretary for NSC

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Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Sports have proposed the discarding of the Ministry of Sports structure and instead revive the National Sports Commission (NSC) which is to be headed by an Executive Secretary or Chairman.

The Committee is also planning to hold a public hearing on the NSC Bill and ensure that it is passed by the end of the year and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

A member of the House Committee on Sports, Hon Mohammed Nuhu Sheriff dropped the hint yesterday at the National Summit on Sports Development organised by the Committee in Abuja.

Hon Sheriff, who is representing Kalabalge Constituency in Borno State, said the Ministry of Sports had become amorphous and was the cause of the motley of problems bedeviling Nigerian sports.

Current Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, phased out the NSC last headed by a DG, Alhassan Yakmut.

But speaking yesterday at the summit attended by many sports stakeholders, Sheriff said that for Nigeria sports to develop, a clear mandate of a professional with technical expertise to nurture sports was needed.

He said the expert must be in the mould of an executive secretary or chairman, but certainly not a Sports Minister.

“Whatever way we want it, we are just deceiving ourselves but we cannot continue to lie. I want to urge you at the sports summit to support the House Committee on Sports. We are working on it and I assure you by the end of the year this bill will be passed,” he promised.

He insisted a Sports Minister cannot oversee sports activities in Nigeria, adding that the country can no longer afford to wait to see a minister of sports, who is a political appointee and without any prerequisite idea on how to run the ministry.

“I will continue fighting until we get a bill that is backing the NSC, so that sports will be established with a clear mandate to go to the grassroots, harness and bring youths that have the talents to the next level in Nigeria,” Sheriff said.

Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, who declared the summit open, said that contradictions in sports had made Nigeria to be in the doldrum, saying the country only record accidental successes in sports as a result of policy errors.

Dogara, who also described the prevailing impasse at the NFF as uncalled for, said that the National Assembly will continue to pass legislature that will lead to effective sports development in the country.