The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Barr Solomon Dalung on Thursday vowed to see that the moribund High Performance Center (HPC) is equipped and fully functional this year.
He stated this while inspecting the Mobile Dart Evolution X-ray machine – a state of the art mobile digital x-ray machine recently purchased at the Package B, National Stadium, Abuja.
The x-ray machine is designed to diagnose injure athletes during events while assessing the extent of injury.
While addressing newsmen, Dalung said he was embarrassed that upon resumption as a minister in 2015, he discovered that the country does not have a HPC.
“When I came on board I embarked on inspection of facilities here in National Stadium and I discovered that as a leading nation in Africa, we don’t have a High Performance Center and in contemporary sports, if you don’t have one you can’t have progress. Sports is science and you need the science of sports to make progress,” he said.
He further stated that the previous government failed to develop the center despite spending N3 billion.
“We made attempts to revive the contract we had with South Africa which in the past government in the past released about N3bn for the development of the High Performance Center and nothing was done.
“The High Performance Center is still vacant and we decided to take steps to acquire some things very important equipment to key into modern sports science and the two equipment we have acquired today are to move sports medicine which is very important to our athletes to the next level.
“This year budget included the acquisition of this particular equipment and more are coming up in 2019 budget. We intend to relocate the clinic to the permanent place and equip it. It’s embarrassing that we still use equipment used when we were still young,” he concluded.
In his own reaction, the Director, Medical Services of the Ministry of Sports, Dr Paul Onyudo said his team is happy with what they have at the moment but are not satisfied at the same time.
“I don’t know whether its right for me to begin to mention figures but it’s in 100m. We are professionals in this field and we are the ones who get embarrassed, so we make use of technology that has sales representatives in Nigeria so that they have service centers.
“We are not satisfied with what we have but we are happy that we are doing well. Science is important for sports and we have the personnel,” he said.