Jonathan orders re-organisation of sports
A comprehensive reorganisation of the sports sector has been ordered by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The President issued the order yesterday after a review of Nigeria’s performance at the London 2012 Olympic Games by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Nigeria fielded 53 athletes at the Games and spent N2.2billion but failed to win a medal.
Nigerians are outraged by the poor performance of Team Nigeria and have been calling for a shake-up in the administration of sports.
Information Minister Labaran Maku said after the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja: “President Goodluck Jonathan today ordered a total and comprehensive re-organisation of the sporting sector, following the disappointing performance of the Nigerian contingent to the London 2012 Olympics.
“The President, accordingly directed that a national retreat which will involve state governments as well as the private sector to re-order priorities in the Nigerian sporting sector,” be held.
Maku added: “He said what took place in London must be the beginning of a new momentum to place Nigerian sports at a level that will enable this country to return to the glory it is known for in the area of sports.
“President Jonathan believes for us to change the present scenario, we need to specialise, we need to plan and we need to fund sports in a way that this country will continue to make impact in the sporting sector.
“He believes that the next Commonwealth Games as well as the 2016 Olympics in Brazil must enable Nigeria to set specific targets and realise them in order to promote our sports development.
“He also called for a new direction in sports management as well as funding and planning.
“He believes that what this nation needs at the moment is to take a sober look at what has happened, and, indeed change the scenario by working hard on all that we need to do to return the sporting sector to his glory.”
The re-organisation will be comprehensive, Maku said, adding that it will include a review of sporting policies.
The President, according to the minister, also underscored the need for re-examination of national attitude to competitions.
He said there would also be the need for the country to identify specific sports on which to concentrate resources and energy.
According to him, the identified specialised sports will be the nation’s priority that Nigeria would be identified with in global competitions.
He said all stakeholders, including the states, the Federal Government and the private sector would come together in the re-organisation.
Nigeria’s best performance was at the Atlantic 1996 Olympics when the country won two gold medals in long jump through Chioma Ajunwa and in football by the “Dream Team”.
At the Sydney Games in 2000, Nigeria won one gold and two silver medals.
In Athens 2004, the nation won two bronze medals. In Beijing 2008, it was one silver and two bronze medals.
Another issue that got the nod of FEC was the N1.66billion contract for the rehabilitation of the Obudu Dam in Cross River State.
The project which is 100per cent sponsored under the International Development Association, when completed, is expected to create about 5,000 jobs.
Maku said the minister of water resources brought the memo to council seeking approval for the contract to rehabilitate the dam, which belongs to the Federal Government.
The approval will enable the government of Cross River State to carry out its regional, urban water supply project, which will cover four communities of Obudu, Ogoja, Ikom and Calabar.