Enoh Lists Reforms Amid Challenges in sports Sector

May 23, 2024

Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh , has listed the reforms he has initiated even as he highlighted some of the challenges impeding the development and growth of sports in the country.

Delivering a keynote address at the 1st National Council on Sports meeting in Enugu, the minister stated that in spite of the myriad of problems he met on ground following his appointment, he had initiated a raft of reforms and policies in his concerted effort and commitment to launch sports on the path of development.

Having aggregated the problems and challenges that continued to hinder the development of sports, Senator Enoh said he launched WAIFAR, a 6-point A
agenda which he envisioned to champion the welfare of athletes, adopt sports as a business, activate early-age sports and to reposition sports federations for impact.

He said: “Over the past months, I have traversed the length and breadth of Nigeria listening to everyone. We have embarked on reforms that would reposition Nigerian sports globally and return us to our erstwhile greatness and also give our sports men and women that single thing they have sought for years- that Nigeria loves and cares for them as much as they love and care for Nigeria.”

In addition to the on-going implementation of these reforms, the minister underscored ground breaking partnerships the Ministry of Sports Development had forged with the private sector, including agreement with Yanga Games Technologies (YGT), a private sector company to help Nigerian sports raise N35 billion over the next four years to augment budgetary allocations from the federal government, struck an MOU with Effa Management Ltd to help create facility clusters in the the six geo-political zones and an agreement with GTI to reintroduce and revamp the competition formerly known as the Challenge Cup, now to be known as The President Federation Cup among others.

Harping on the impact of sports on the socio-economic development of the country, Senator Enoh noted that substantial investment in sports infrastructure, talent development and grassroots programmes would not only nurture athletic excellence, but stimulate local economies, create employment opportunities and promote healthier lifestyles.

He called on the council to focus on some key priorities in the course of its deliberations in order to harness the potential of sports for national development.

The key priorities, according to him, included leveraging sports to bridge divides and strengthen the bonds of unity among citizens, the empowerment of local communities through sports initiatives to identify and nurture talents, the enhancement of sports infrastructure nationwide, strategic investments in sports for significant socio-economic dividends, youth empowerment and development, international partnerships, private-public partnerships and inclusivity and accessibility.

The minister thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the support he had continued to provide for sports development in the country.

“Recently, as you would recall, Mr. President approved the sum of N12 billion naira interventions for football that enabled participation at AFCON and other competitions in addition to settling outstanding backlogs. From my several interactions with His Excellency, Mr. President, I want to assure you all that the best days for sports in Nigeria lie ahead of us,” he said.