Nigeria’s Sports Minister Sunday Dare has placed infrastructure at the top of his agenda for sports development in the country.
The Minister said his plans for the next two years will center on infrastructure, athletes Welfare, grassroots, and revenue generation.
“Our short term Sports Development Plan for the next 2 years gradually unfolds. It is focused on Infrastructure, Athletes Welfare, Grassroot Sports and Sports as a viable business.” He stated via Twitter.
“Abuja Stadium is on its way back, National Stadium Lagos is set for concession, Ahmadu Bello Stadium will soon undergo renovation. Talks are ongoing concerning the renovation of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, formerly,Liberty Stadium with government and a few private individuals.”
Dare’s sight is set on developing new stadiums across the 36 States of the federation in 2020.
“Our goal is to deliver four FIFA standard pitches by the first quarter of 2020 by God’s Grace,” he stated and added that “The ministry will in 2020 monitor and ensure the completion of about 20 mini-stadiums across the country.”
According to him, the model of one mini-Stadium per Local government adopted by Imo State will be marketed to each state.
The Minister said his ministry is on course to reposition the state of sports in the country but however claimed that the finish line was far ahead.
“Earnest Work is Ongoing to rejuvenate Sports development in all ramifications in Nigeria. It’s not a dash but a long distance race and we have started. We do not crave early applauds, rather we want to use this given opportunity to change the fundamentals of sports development,” he said.
He highlighted his plans for athletes and promised that Nigeria’s representatives at the coming Olympics will be well taken care of.
“We will do all within our powers to ensure that we make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan count for Nigeria and Nigerians. Our athletes will be exposed to the best training, competitions and camping possible. The process is already ongoing- and will be sustained.”
Grassroots sports might likely enjoy a flourish as the former NCC stalwart promised to revive tournaments that were once pools for birthing Nigerian sports stars.
”Headmasters’ Cup for primary Schools and Principals Cup coming back, a new Talent Hunt Program, THP, is being finalized, Adoption Initiative is birthed and the policy to turn sports into business are being pursued among other things.”