The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, has conceded that the nation would need a new set of sport architecture to go forward and contest on the big stage with the rest of the world.
Dalung, speaking during his appearance on national television monitored in Abuja on Wednesday explained that a technical committee was set up to streamline the merging of both ministries (youth and sports).
“We have to restructure our sports architecture where government will concentrate on investing grants on talents or grassroots sports development while the elite sports will be left for the federations and professionalism.
“We will soon put up a council memo that will get the backing of the Ministry of Education to restore school sports as part of the compulsory component of the school curriculum in Nigeria because sports development cannot be isolated from educational development. This has to be restored back to our school system” Dalung said.
He further opined that, for the ministry to get it right in sports development, it must go back to the foundation of sports which is the grassroots.
Also, Dalung stated that his office would reinstate the National Sports Commission (NSC), considering the role the commission has to play in the new sports architecture proposed to move the nation’s sports forward.
“The NSC was scrapped when I was appointed minister of Youth and Sports. The merging of two ministries to become one led to the establishment of a technical committee to merge the ministries. What came out of the report of the committee was just a briefing. The committee had already decided to merge the ministry independent of the minister, but the popular opinion was that the minister scrapped NSC.”
Dalung stressed that the next elections into the board of sport federations would be conducted based on the rules and regulations of the federations, to forestall any form of rancour.
Dalung thumbed-up the discovery of talents, as he insisted that most of the nation’s representatives at the Olympics have been “recycled for too long.”
He said: “Some of the athletes have been to the Olympics 5 to 6 times without replacement