The President of the Nigerian Tennis Federation, Sani Ndanusa, in this interview with PREMIUM TIMES, says Nigeria will win medals in tennis at the All Africans Games which will take place in Congo Brazzaville from September 4 to 19.
Mr. Ndanusa, who is a former sports minister and chairman of the National Olympics Committee, also talked about life after public service.
PT: What are your preparations towards the All African Games?
Ndanusa: We have started preparing. Two players and a coach are being sponsored right now by the Abuja Tennis Club. They are playing in Egypt and appearing in different tournaments that we have in Egypt. Hopefully, that will help them develop in ranking.
PT: What other plans do you have and what do you want to achieve?
Ndanusa: We are working towards the All Africa Games like I mentioned earlier. These are the athletes that we are going to showcase because once you are ranked, they come to the draws and it will be an advantage. Nigeria will do well. Of course, we have been doing well. Check the records for the Nigeria tennis. We always provide goal medals up to Mozambique, the recent one.
PT: Apart from the games, which other tournament is your Federation planning to participate in?
Ndanusa: African championships coming up in Tunis. Nine of our players under 16, 14, and 12 recently qualified for the tournament in Togo. Nigeria did very well and they took all the medals.
PT: What provision are you making for adequate tennis facilities in the Nigeria?
Ndanusa: Traditionally, we had an idea when we were at work (at the sports ministry) called community sports centres. We advocated for community sports centres in each local government of Nigeria. A facility that has a football field, tracks, tennis, handball and basketball courts attracts youths and young ones. It can help to also discover talents.
PT: Since your retirement as Sports Minister and Chairman of the Olympic Committee what have you been doing?
Ndanusa: I am a chartered engineer and a professional so I have been practising. Sports, for me, is a passion and I’m still here.
PT: Do you miss the National Olympics Committee?
Ndanusa: No, I don’t miss the NOC leadership but I’m still part of it as a member, being the Chairman of the Tennis federation, but I have moved on from the NOC leadership.
PT: What great things can you say you did during your time as the Sports Minister?
Ndanusa: As a sports minister then I can say that I’m happy I have been able to build a very good foundation for others to build on. These things are there for all to see.
PT: What else would you wish is more developed in the sports sector?
Ndanusa: Sports bring a lot of value to the society. We have to do more in the provision of adequate facilities. I don’t think we have up to 200 facilities in all the 774 local governments in Nigeria. Facilities have to be made visible.