By Emmanuel Onotevure.
The Federal Government has inaugurated the National Sports Federation Caretaker Committees following the recent dissolution of the Boards of the 30 National Olympic Sports Federations.
Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Akin Dare who inaugurated the Caretaker Committees today at the VIP Lounge, Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, urged the Caretaker Committees to ensure podium performances by the nation’s athletes at the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.
He said that the dissolution of the Boards of the 30 National Olympic Sports Federation became necessary because of the expiration of their tenure as well as to ensure continuity and adequate preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games which is less than 90 days away.
According to him, “the Caretaker Committees are thus specially selected to reflect our aspirations towards podium performance at the Tokyo Olympics. Nigeria has won just one medal in the last two Olympics, the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The medal, a bronze came in the Football event and this is unacceptable to us as a Nation. This is what we must all try to change”.
The Minister explained that with the performances of our athletes in pre-Olympics circuit and championships, “it is crystal clear we have the talents to excel at the Games and even get close to our performance at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 where we won a total of six medals including the gold in the men’s Football event and the women’s Long Jump. That benchmark is something we must not go below again and the wrangling in some of the Sports Federations going to the Olympics will not help our preparations”.
Chief Dare stated further that his message to the Caretaker Committees is simple, and that is for them to work towards ensuring better performance at the Olympics with a view to maintaining the benchmark of 1996 or even surpassing them.
The Minister who emphasized that, “This is not the time to play politics but the time towards putting Nigeria among the medal winners in Tokyo, said that government will not hesitate to remove any Caretaker Committee of any of the Federations that work at cross purposes with our aspirations. It is also important for the Caretaker Committees to know that their jobs terminate immediately after the Olympics as elections into the Federations will be guided by their constitutions and the Code of Governance”, the Minister stressed.
He stated further that for Federations whose Constitutions were not yet ratified by their International Bodies, the Code of Governance drawn up by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will be used to conduct elections into their various boards.
In conjunction with the Nigeria Olympic Committee, “we will ask these federations to draw up their constitution not later than six months after the inauguration of the new boards”, he said.
In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Engr. Nebeolisa Anako commended the former Board and urged the newly inaugurated Caretaker Committees to work diligently towards ensuring better performance of our athletes at the forthcoming Olympic Games.
Speaking on behalf of the Chairmen of Caretaker Committees, the Chairman; Basket Ball Federation, Engr. Musa Kida assured that the Committees will work assiduously towards ensuring that the Nigerian flag is flown at the highest podium.
Director, Press & Public Relations
April 4, 2021