By Amaechi Agbo
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Honourable Sunday Akin Dare has sounded a note of warning that no sports federation in the country is bigger than the ministry.
The minister stated this on Monday adding that the ministry will not shy away from exercising its oversight on sports federations as it pushes for reforms in the running of the sports industry.
Mr Dare stated this at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Monday while receiving the report of the Ministerial Committee on the Performance of Nigeria’s Athletes at the recently concluded 2019 World Athletic Championships, Doha, in Qatar.
The Minister thanked the committee for the level of commitment and patriotism they have exhibited, while assuring that the Ministry would go through and come up with an action plan which would ensure that the development of sports, with regards to athletics, does not continue to suffer the fate it has suffered in the recent past.
He further assured that this time things will be done differently for a better result, noting that “When we talk of about the next level this is what we mean, doing things the right way.”
While appreciating the work of the sports federations in the country, he sounded a note of warning that no federation was bigger than the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, adding that in the interest of the country, sports and the athletes, the Ministry would not exchange its oversight powers when it feels any federation is going wrong.
Mr. Dare stressed that “No federation is bigger than the Ministry. We have oversight powers over them.”
Drawing lessons from Doha 2019, he said “Doha reminds us that you only go to a championship with your best so that your work will not go to waste.”
Presenting 10 copies of the report to the Minister of Youth and Sports, the chairman of the committee Prof. Ken Angwueje said the committee had examined the facts, established the truth and suggested measures to prevent a re-occurrence of the less than impressive performance of team Nigeria at the 17th IAAF World Championship in Doha, as well proffered suggestions on the way forward.
It would be recalled that the Minister inaugurated the committee on 21st October to appraise the causes and factors responsible for team Nigeria’s poor performance and confusion at the just concluded World Athletics Championship in Doha, Qatar where Nigeria won only one bronze medal.
The committee had Professor Ken Angwueje as its chairman. Other members are Dr. Umar Bindir, Mr. Rotimi Obajimi, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, Dr. Dare Esan, Amb. Mary Onyali, Chief Falilat Ogunkoya and Mrs. Maria Wophill as Secretary.