*Photo: Senator John Owan Enoh (middle) with members of the NOC during a visit *
The Federal Government has called on the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) to upscale its preparations ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games scheduled to take place in Paris, France
The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh gave the charge today in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja when the Executive Members of the Nigeria Olympic Committee led by its President Engr. Habu Ahmed Gumel visited him.
Senator Owan Enoh stated that early preparations for the Games will not only provide the athletes ampled opportunities in their various sporting fields but will also enable the country to record podium finishes at the international competitions
The Minister stated further that the desire of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration is to ensure the development of sports not only as a mere recreation but as a business with a view to providing job opportunities for our teeming youth, alleviate poverty in the society as well as to enhance peace and unity in the country.
This, he added, was demonstrated through the creation of a Ministry of Sports Development and in his appointment as the Minister to drive this important policy thrust of government.
He explained that sports remained the most unifying factor in Nigeria and that the government was determined to develop the sector so as to strengthen the unity of this country for the betterment of all.
Senator Owan Enoh assured that under his watch, the Ministry of Sports Development will not only recognise key stakeholders in the industry but was ready to partner and collaborate with them for the development of the industry.
He informed that the renewed Hope Agenda of the Government also provides an opportunity for inclusiveness in sports by both male and females as well as for private sector participation. That was why he added that the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) approved by the immediate past administration was recently endosed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration in its renewed Hope Agenda
He advised the executive members of NOC to look into the document to see the areas that it can explore towards attracting private sector partnerships to help in the development of athletes so as to prepare them to compete favourably with their counterparts globally.
He said that time has now come for all stakeholders in the industry to join hands with the Federal Government to ensure the development of sports in the country, especially in the area of infrastructure upgrades, Grassroots Sports Development, training of our athletes, Scholarships as well as in the area of capacity building of the officials as government cannot do it alone.
In addition, the Minister reminded the Committee to ensure clean participation of the nation’s athletes during the competition, stating that the government will not condore any cases of doping during the competitions.
Speaking earlier, the President of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) Engr Habu Ahmed Gumel said that their visit was to congratulate the Honourable Minister on his appointment by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and subsequent confirmation as the Captain of Nigerian Sports as well as to brief him on the activities of the Committee.
Engr Gumel who commended the Honourable Minister on the proactive and progressive steps he had taken within the first month in office, which he said, are clear pointers that his tenure is poised to chart a new course for Nigerian Sports assured that the Nigeria Olympic Committee, as co-partner with the Ministry of Sports Development is committed to the delivery of values to the stakeholders, especially in the area of capacity building to support National Federation Administrative and Technical Structures with a view to ensuring that the country joins the Committee of Sporting Nations.
He stated that the committee’s core objective is providing international and local training scholarships for Nigerian elite and upcoming athletes as well as support grants to team sports. This we do in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), so as to assist our athletes in preparation for qualification tournaments and participation in the Olympic Games, Commonwealth and African Games. By so doing, the NOC is able to augment what the Government is doing to prepare our athletes for these Games‘ he said.
The NOC President who enumerated other areas of the body’s contributions to the development of sports in Nigeria assured President Bola Ahmed Tinubu through the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh that the Committee will not only do everything humanly possible to ensure that the country qualify for participation clean in the forth coming Olympic Games, but also will bring in their wealth of experience to bear in ensuring that Nigeria records podium finishes at the international competitions.
Mohammed Manga FCAI
Director Press and Public Relations
October 24, 2024