Gumel Seeks Private Partnerships For NOC, Reveals Future Plans (AUDIO)

The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) Habu Gumel says the financial challenges hindering the NOC’s ability to drive sports development in the country can be surmounted if private multinationals become “partners in progress” with the NOC.

Gumel, who was in Lagos to witness the passing of the baton from the former secretary general of the NOC Tunde Popoola to newly elected scribe Olabanji Oladapo on Wednesday at the Committee’s offices at the National Stadium, Surulere, told the media that the government cannot “do it alone” and that “necessary support” from the private sector involvement is required to “complement the effort” of government in driving the development of sports in Nigeria.

“The challenges [at the NOC] is the issue of finance even though [the] government is doing their best but the private sector need to come out in full force and give the necessary support,” Gumel said.

“We have a lot of multinationals private sector in this country [that are] not doing very well in terms of supporting sports development and we need them.

“We are partners in progress with them and I’m seizing this opportunity to appeal to them that they have to complement the effort of government because [the] government cannot do it alone.”

Gumel who was returned unopposed for another four-year term at the helm of the NOC in elections held in Yola in December 2018 said his board will reveal “a lot of new innovations” which are in store for the year.

“We have a lot of new innovations that we are going to come up with which we will announce later this month or by next month,” he said, “so there is a lot that we can be able to do for this country in the Olympic Movement.

“We are collaborating with the private sector, we are collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development. We need the support of the government, private sector and individuals so that jointly we can be able to develop our athletes, train them very well so that where ever we are in this world we can be able to make Nigeria proud.”

The NOC president also hinted that a resolution was in sight in the long-running dispute between Musa Kida and Tijani Umar over the presidency of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).  

“[The dispute in the NBBF] will be over soon, there is no cause for alarm. We are a family, we are working together and there is no cause for alarm,” he said.