The National Assembly has organised the 2018 National Sports Stakeholders Summit in the bid to reposition and develop grassroots sports in Nigeria.
This year’s edition held in Abuja was tagged “Growing Nigeria Sports from the Grassroots for Championship Excellence and Sustainable Development” had in attendance sports administrators, House Committee members on sports who came together to brainstorm on the way out.
The Summit according to the Honourable members was anchored on the overwhelming and increasing influence of sports in the socio-political and economic lives of Nigeria was aimed at facilitating sports development in Nigeria through adequate legislation of politics, to help harmonize sports policies for effective and efficient implementation.
In his opening speech, the chairman House Committee on Sports, Hon .Goni Bukar Lawan emphasised on the importance of the major stakeholders coming together to a round table discussion to develop sport which serves as national unity and can also close the gap of unemployment in the country
“Sports as we will all agree, even before today has served and is still serving as fundamental basis of National Unity not only in the Nigeria but the world all over” he said.
“The role of sports in closing the gap of unemployment and taming youth restiveness cannot be overemphasized. The decadence and the negligence in our sport industries today most especially at the grassroots level has reached an alarming state and something very urgent must be done to safeguard the situation”
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Barr Solomon Dalung who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the sports Ministry, Mr Olusade Adesola expressed his delight at the initiatives of the National Assembly to reposition sports starting from the grassroots levels.
While commending the house committee of sports for bringing up such platform to chat way forward and on how to invest in grassroots sport, he
“In the past it has been the responsibility of the ministry to defend the grassroots development and often time because of financial constraints it is challenging to convince the lawmakers about sport development but with this summit the table as change “
“With this workshop today it appears that the table as changed the House of Representatives have taken the bull by the horns by investigating on the reasons of investing and funding on grassroots sports development”
Dalung further closed by saying the present economy situation has pulled our support the sports enjoyed from the private sector
“The current state of the nation economy has the support from the private sector resulting to the fact that the need for more government involvement in the funding of sports development has become a major factor”.
“Without a vibrant grassroots sports it is difficult for any sports to perform well because the grassroots is the channel that fuelled sports.” he added
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt.Hon Yakubu Dogara in his Keynote address said that the sport sector can foster human and economy development in Nigeria.
Dogara who was represented by the chairman House committee on Media, Hon Abdulrazak Namdas, acknowledged the efforts of the House to enact laws to strengthen and develop sports.
“Indeed I consider the event as most timely in view of the contradictions in our sports sector, a sector with great potential to catalyse giant strides in our developmental efforts but which has remained in doldrums “
“It is common knowledge that Nigeria is a potential in international hub in global sports. We have made and still making waves in sporting events in national and international reckoning in soccer at international youth tournaments and we have won golds medals at the Olympic. “
“We have what it take to be at the top in sports but however success seems to be accidental or once in a while occurrence the reasons for these are not farfetched they have to do with the issues of inefficient administration and policy implementation. It is my hope that this summit will contribute greatly to our efforts to get it right in the sports sector”
“Nigeria have potential to become a global giants in sports can be said to be limitless, we have a large pool of youth population with rich talent and passion for sports what is needed is to effectively harness these endowment in order to unlock a world of treasure that can effectively drive our development. “
“In developed nations, the Sports sector is a major revenue and foreign exchange earner. Every nation therefore, makes all efforts to ensure that the sector receives priority attention.”
He expressed his belief that the sports sector has value chains that can transform the tourism sector while berating the NFF leadership over the lingering leadership crisis. According to him, ‘the crisis is totally uncalled for. It is a war of attrition that is doing no one any good, he said.
“The National Assembly will continue to deploy its legislative powers to reposition the Nigerian sports sector in the interest of the peace and progress of our country and to give the country a place of pride among the comity of nation. “ he concluded.