Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has identified funding, trust and facilities as key areas he hopes to give attention to in his drive to turnaround the country’s sports sector.
Enoh who spoke at a parley with sports journalists in Lagos at the weekend, admitted that he has been saddled with one of the toughest jobs in the country, managing the sports sector.
“Mr President (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) wanted somebody who is committed; who has the passion; and who can provide the needed leadership and he found me worthy to do that,” began the former senator representing the Central Senatorial District of Cross River State in the National Assembly.
He listed funding, trust and facilities as major challenges in the Sports Ministry, stressing that he’s bringing trust, a major ingredient needed to boost the confidence of investors and sponsors to help him in addressing these challenges.
“The problems are there but not insurmountable. I come to make a success of my assignment but I need everyone to help me in this direction. I need the media and all stakeholders to make my task light.
“Funding problem remains a challenge in the country. It is never enough. Even the little that is released, you have the trust deficiencies. But I bring transparency and openness to the table, to help restore confidence and to provide the direction for sponsors to come in,” pledged the politician who admits he’s both a farmer and teacher.
Enoh has hit the ground running the very first day he stepped into the sports sector. He is currently touring the facilities in the sports sector with the hope of having first hand knowledge of the enormity of the task before him. He has visited the 20-year-old MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja as well as the 51-year-old National Stadium in Lagos.
“ I have gone round the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja and the National Stadium in Lagos. I found hundreds of shops there at the Abuja stadium that have never been utilized a single day. I have also seen the state of the terraces of the stadium in Lagos. I will wait for the report on these facilities to know which direction we are facing. I know the National Theatre in Lagos underwent massive refurbishment to be in its present state. The report will decide what we will do to the Lagos Stadium,” he noted.
The minister believes further that with proper harnessing of the potentials in sports, “the sector offers so much. It’s has a huge potentials of increasing the country’s GDP.”
Enoh who promised to meet with the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) this week, has assured stakeholders that he not to be a ‘Football Minister’ but minister for all the sports federations.