Nigerian President Tasks Citizens To Invest In Sports Development

Chukwumerije Aja, Enugu


The President of Nigeria , Ahmed Bola Tinubu has reminded Nigerian citizens that sports have historically been a unifying force and a strong platform for soft diplomacy, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds, culture, and fostering a sense of national pride and identity.

President Tinubu gave the reminder at the opening of the first National Council of Sports held in Enugu.

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Represented by the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Rt. Hon. Zaphaniah Jisalo, the President also reminded participants of the tremendous potentials that sports holds for Nigerian youth.

Sports can provide a pathway to personal development, offering our young people opportunities to build character, discipline, and leadership skills. It is our responsibility to create an environment where these opportunities are accessible to all”. Tinubu stated

The President however, commended the efforts of the Minister of Sports Development as well as the entire Ministry for their unweavering commitment to the development of sports in Nigeria. “Your dedication to nurturing talent and promoting sports at all levels is evident in the numerous initiatives and programs that have been initiated”. Tinubu said.

The President meanwhile, observed the theme of this year’s Council meeting which is “Sports for National Unity and Socio-Economic Growth was particularly timely. “It reflects our collective resolve to address the challenges facing our sports sector and to harness the inherent opportunities. I am confident that the deliberations and resolutions from this meeting will significantly contribute to the advancement of sports in Nigeria”. He stated.

President Tinubu emphasized the importance of collaboration as government cannot do this alone. “We need the active involvement of the private sector, non-governmental organisations, and international partners. Together, we can build a robust sports ecosystem that supports our athletes and promotes healthy living among our citizens”. Tinubu stated.

Earlier, the Governor of Enugu state, Peter Mbah charged the meeting to come up with strategies that could make sports more attractive for private sector investment, stressing that it must be taken to a level where the teeming youths must aspire to belong to it.

He observed that sports generally had declined in the country, following derelict infrastructure, funding gaps among others, stressing that the country had not emerged the first position in all Africa Games since 2023 when it was hosted in Abuja.

Mbah also emphasized the need to pay attention to grassroots development of sports, explaining that it was from there that qualified athletes are built to compete in world tournaments.

Also in an address, the Minister for Sports Development in Nigeria, John Owan Enoh narrated how he was inundated by all the tales of woes from every part that make up the ecosystem of Nigerian sports.

I was told by many that nothing would work in Nigerian sports. I was told how difficult it was to unite the various stakeholders to forge a common front and advance forward together.

The more i heard from the naysayers, the more i understood why it pleased God at this time that i serve in this capacity as Minister for Sports Development”. Enoh said

He also expressed confidence that the deliberations of this Council will yield actionable strategies and partnership that would propel Nigeria’s sports sector towards greater heights.


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