63 years of Sports in Nigeria and What?

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Year after year the calls get louder for the thriving Nigerian sports industry to step up, do more than borrowing scripts of the rhethorics of what a big bright future would portend, and rather walk the talk.

In the last nine years, three different Sports Ministers have shared their manifestos of a greater and sustainable ecosystem, but nine years on there are still no working developmental programs for young athletes across the country, unending leadership crises – sometimes instigated by the Office of the Ministers – have crippled some Federations.

 

 

And don’t get me started on how the office has been reduced to a mere PR mill, and ridiculed as its holders will fight tooth and nail to teach National football team coaches game strategy or wrestle cash gifts with the FA.

It has been comical and sadly so, the tyro type acts would surely leave no one falling off their seats, laughing hysterically.

Rather the show has been flat, the audience left disgruntled and dissatisfied.

Sports Administration is perhaps the only sector where industry experts are kept at bay and never given the reigns to steer the boat.

It is no wonder there has been only motion and no progress made. Success in sports is measured not just on the field but also in sustainable developmental plans that can be measured, are practical and be recreated across the landscape.

If measured by these parameters the ratings would clearly show that, perhaps even beyond a decade, the head honchos have underperformed grossly.

So, today marks Nigeria’s 63rd anniversary as an independent Nation, and though organized sports had existed long before 1st October, 1960, the path to a great future is yet uncertain and the signs not so good.

However, the clarion call to continuously plough away, to keep building; laying the bricks one by one, generation by generation will not cease.

As the fourth estate, and one of the realms most crucial partners – whether in traditional or new media – this is a duty we must never fail at.

Hoist the banner and stand firm until the last man.

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