The newly appointed Minister of Sports Development, Sen John Owan Enoh, expressed his belief that being a sportsman is not a prerequisite for the role as the country’s 36th sports minister.
He shared this statement during his first day in office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Monday.
“I didn’t lobby to be sports minister. President Bola Tinubu saw me fit and decided to put the task of building sports in Nigeria. Since I was assigned this portfolio, I have been reading about sports.
“I don’t think you need to be an active sports participant for you to be minister of sports.
“I think what is required is who can provide leadership, direction, someone who is transparent, understands the sector and repositions it and that is what I am bringing on board.
“I was once a footballer. When I was appointed, some of my old mates called me to remind me of our playing days,” he said.
The minister stressed the importance of sports as a uniting factor, while calling for all hands to be on deck to develop the sector in line with international best practices. There is no other endeavour in this country that is as uniting as the sports endeavour.
”In spite of our diversity, the difficulties, the differences, the conflicts, I think Nigerians always unite as one whenever there is a sporting event,” he said.
Enoh also used the occasion to send a goodwill message to Nigerian athletes representing the country at the ongoing 2023 World Athletics Championship in Budapest, Hungary.
“Let me assure you that President Bola Tinubu is standing behind you with the entire nation, united in our support and admiration,” the minister said.
He said the federal government will continue to ensure that Nigerian athletes get their due recognition and the right atmosphere is created for them to excel.
The minister assured of his commitment to ensure a complete turnaround in the sector in line with the policy thrust of the present administration.
Senator Enoh therefore called on staff and officials of the ministry as well as sports federations, to bring their wealth of experience and expertise to bear, in ensuring that the country has the best representations in all competitions.