Sport minister upbeat as sector gets new attention

Bolaji Abdullahi
Bolaji Abdullahi

Sports minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, is upbeat that sport is back on the front burner, after his boss, president Goodluck Jonathan, gave nod to his five-year master plan to rebuild the sector on Wednesday in Abuja.

As a first step, president Jonathan gave thumbs up to the minister, and asked four other ministers in his cabinet to bunch up with Mr. Abdullahi in an ad hoc committee to fix the deplorable state of the National Stadium in Abuja.

Their main job description is “to come up with strategies on the renovation and management of the National Stadium in Abuja” according to Julius Ogunro, an aide to Mr. Abdullahi.

Sports ministry officials say the budget for this assignment is still on the board, but the ad-hoc committee, has Mr. Abdullahi working with Minister of Finance, Okonjo-Iweala; Minister of FCT, Bala Mohammed; Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman, and the Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Patrick Ekeji.

This is the fact. The Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, at the Federal Executive Council Meeting of On September 5th, 2012, Mr. Abdullahi made a presentation at the Federal Executive Council Meeting on the performance of Team Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympics, and outlined strategies for greater performance in the future.

One of the highlights of that presentation was that the country lacks decent pitches where the country’s footballers can have quality training, emphasizing, in particular, the deplorable state of the National Stadium in Abuja and the inadequacy of sports infrastructure across the country.

In a statement to the media on Thursday, Mr. Ogunro observed that, unclear about the mandate of this ad hoc committee, some reporters have misrepresented Mr. Jonathan by claiming that a ‘committee to reform Nigerian sports’ had just been set up.