Bridget Samuel, Kaduna
MINISTER OF Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Sunday Dare has acknowledged that the visit to Nigeria by the President of the International Olympic Committee, Dr Thomas Bach will put a garb of prestige and recognition on Nigeria, that will describe the country as a sports loving nation.
The Minister disclosed this during the pre-event media briefing organized by the Ministry; for the visit of the President of the International Olympic Committee, His Excellency, Dr Thomas Bach today at the Afolabi Hall, Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
Extolling further the diplomatic gains of the visit of the IOC President to Nigeria; Hon. Sunday Dare affirmed that it is quite significant as it shows the place of Nigeria in the heart of the International Olympic Movement, adding, it is also a clear sign that Nigeria is highly respected in the sports sector among the comity of African Nations.
In a statement signed by Asstistant Director Press, for Director Press, Ramon Balogun, speaking on the purpose of the visit and it’s importance to Nigeria, the Minister emphatically stated that Dr Bach is coming to Nigeria to specifically commission the Secretariat/Headquarters of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa, ANOCA. He said: ” is a clear indication of the commitment of the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari to ensuring the development of sports in Africa as a whole and Nigeria in particular.It is further a testament that our return to greater transparency in sports administration is engendering trust in Nigeria’s capacity to implement International best practices.”
During an interactive session with journalists, Hon. Dare said the Ministry has initiated several initiatives to ensure earnest preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic. To buttress his assertion, he recalled the recent meeting he had with the Presidents and Secretaries of the Federations at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja to give bite to preparations visavis addressing challenges and proffer solutions that would bring laurels to the country at the Olympic.
Furthermore, Hon. Dare spoke extensively on policies of the Ministry to revamp moribund and decayed Stadia facilities through private public partnership, adopt an athlete and adopt football pitch strategies – all in the bid to promote and develop our sports to achieve national aspirations and cohesion.
Aside mooting the policy of instituting a body to raise funds for achieving podium performances at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic by our athletes, the Minister stated that scientific method would be adopted to assess and gauge the readiness of our athletes in every qualifying tournaments before the commencement of the Olympics.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola said that the interface with Sports Journalists is considered important to raise awareness on the visit by IOC President and apprise them of arrangements made by the Ministry for a successful reception, beneficial gains and glorious results for the country.