Sports Minister appoints aide to NASCOM board

Bolaji Abdullahi

Mr. Fix Nigeria becomes member of NASCOM.

The Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, Tuesday, inaugurated a new 12-man committee for the Nigeria Academicals Sports Committee, NASCOM, with controversy surrounding the appointment of one of his aides alleged to have no sports background or experience.

The NASCOM was established to ensure the development of sports from the primary and secondary schools and was formerly headed by former Super Eagles captain and sports journalist, Segun Odegbami.

After the dissolution of the Odegbami-led board shortly after Nigeria’s dismal performance at the London Olympics, all eyes were on Mr. Abdullahi to inaugurate the new committee.

One of the controversial appointments into the sports committee board is an aide to Mr. Abdullahi, Ohimai Amaize.

Mr. Amaize, who is said to have no prior experience in sports or sports administration, is one of the sports minister’s loyal aides and has been the minister’s assistant since Mr. Abdullahi was Minister of Youth.

The controversy

The sports minister said NASCOM was constituted “to restore the old era of effective sports participation and competitiveness in our secondary schools.”

Apart from the inclusion of Mr. Amaize, another controversy surrounding the board is the manner of exit of the former leaders.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Segun Odegbami and Opeyemi Aminu, the former secretary of the board, are yet to be formally notified of their exit from the board. Mr. Aminu attended the event on Tuesday at the National Stadium without knowing he had been removed from the board.

When PREMIUM TIMES sought Mr. Abdullahi’s view on the credibility and competence of the new board, the minister snapped and said “go and meet them (the new appointees) and ask.”

Mr. Odegbami refused to comment on the manner of his exit when he was contacted on phone.

The new board

The new board is headed by Yemi Idowu, who serves as Chairman.

Mr. Idowu is a businessman, sports enthusiast and philanthropist. He is a non- executive Director at Sterling Bank and the immediate past Chairman of Sterling Capital Plc. Said to be a sports patron at the grassroots, Mr. Idowu is also a co-founder and Director of the successful Lagos Junior league and Chairman of Nath Boys Sports Club, an amateur youth sports organization that owns Nath Boys Football Club, the current champion of the Lagos Junior premier league.

Below is the full list of the board members:

1. Yemi Idowu

2. Fela Bank-Olemo

3. Ibrahim Mohammed

4. Olabisi Joseph

5. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna

6. Barrister Kola Olapoju

7. Lawrence Oduah

8. Felix Awoogu

9. Victoria Roland Kayode

10 Opeyemi Aminu

11. Lizzy Onyenwenwa

12. Ohimai Amaize

The board is expected to source for its own funds.


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