Miffed by the embarrassing performance of the Team Nigeria athletes in the two successive Olympic Games, the Federal Government yesterday declared a state of emergency on Nigerian sports.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, who made the declaration in Abuja yesterday while receiving the reports of the Sports Reform Committee, maintained that certain measures must be introduced to return Nigeria to the comity of major sporting nations, through provisions of emergency rule.
His words: ‘We are indeed in a state of emergency because of lack of performance in the sports sector. We will therefore take far reaching measures to restructure the sector. Our dismal outing at the just concluded Rio Olympics is another factor why we must reform our sports.
‘Although it is not what we hoped for, yet it offered a glimmer of hope that if we put our acts together, we will achieve greater results in future Olympics. This is part of what this report is about. Having received this report from the Sports Reform Committee, we will begin the implementation by declaring a state of emergency in Nigerian sports’. Dalung declared.
Speaking earlier while submitting the report, the chairman of the National Sports Reforms Committee, Godwin Kienka, recommended for transparency as panacea for the reform.
‘The first step to a meaningful and enduring reform is transparency. Sports in the past has been run like a cult. No one knows how much the NOC gets from the IOC by way of grants.
No one knows what the sports federations get from the IOC and their international federations and from other bodies by way of grants and counterpart funding. The nation and the sports men and women deserve to know,’ he noted.