BREAKING: Buhari Names Sunday Dare Minister of Sports

Veteran journalist Sunday Dare has been appointed the Minister of Youth and Sports by President Muhammadu Buhari in a ceremony at the State House, Abuja, moments ago.

Until his appointment, Oyo State-born Dare was the executive commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Born on 29 May 1966, Sunday Dare obtained a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in International Studies from Ahmadu Bello University in 1991 and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the University of Jos.

Dare has extensive experience in multimedia journalism spanning over two decades and has worked with the Voice of Nigeria, The News and Tempo. magazine amongst others.

He takes over from Solomon Dalung and would look to take a different tack from Dalung whose belligerent bent ensured a near-permanent state of crises in the sports sector.

The new minister would have little time for bedding in with very many pressing issues in his in-tray chief of which include the funding problems faced by Nigerian teams on national assignments at the FIBA Men’s World Cup and the 12th African Games in Morocco.

Dare takes over a ministry in dire need of direction and would hope to be more astute than his predecessor in finding solutions to the lingering crises in the Nigeria Basketball Federation and other problems arising from the Sports Federations reforms instigated by Dalung.

Nigeria’s Sports Minister Sunday Dare would also be expected to chart a new course for the debilitating state of the country’s sporting infrastructure and would perhaps look to breathe life into the abandoned plans to concession the National Stadium in Lagos to the state government.

Another pressing issue the newly sworn-in Sports Minister must deal with is ensuring adequate funding and government support for sports other football which has traditionally commandeered the bulk of government funding and attention often to the detriment of sports.

Observers will watch with keen interest to see if instances of government interference in the internal workings of sports federations – so rampant under his predecessor – will become a relic of the past in Dare’s time as Minister of Youth and Sports.

With a vast background in media and the private sector, many stakeholders will hold out hope that Sunday Dare is the much sought-after ’round peg in round hole’ technocrat who would create the much needed enabling environment which encourages private sector investment and live telecast of domestic sports.

With years of experience in policy formulation, many stakeholders will be that Sunday Dare can finally be the Sports Minister who recognises the imperative of crafting an overarching government policy that recognises the nexus between sports and GDP.