Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Akin Dare
Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare
“Make a Different” Sport Minister Urges Olympic Committee
 Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare has urged the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) to ensure management of resources and do things differently if the Nigerian contingents to Tokyo 2020 Olympics must make a mark.
The Hon. Minister admitted that though there are funding challenges, but that he has intervened on early release of fund to enable federations commence early preparations for the Olympics. He stated that beyond funding, there is need to come out with workable plan, and that responsibility will be assigned and monitored. ‘’There will be enforcement of discipline on the athletes and also the officials entrusted to work with the athletes.
  The Minister stated this during a courtesy visit to his office by the newly elected Exco members of the Nigerian Olympic Committee in Abuja, recently.
  According to the Minister, ‘’most countries going to the Olympic already have answers; they can correctly predict the number of medals they are expecting from the Olympic  Games, they make those predictions because they know the level and state of their preparedness’’. He added that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic is about consistency, discipline, commitment and national pride on the part of the athletes and their coaches.
“I am a minimalists, it’s better to go to the Olympic with few athletes and federations to achieve result than going with many without achieving result”. He urged Federations to put away sentiments in the discovery of athletes and adopt the best practices obtainable around the world.
The Minister noted that the focus on sports development will be more on grassroot, stressing that the Ministry under his supervision will make the Athletes Sustainace Fund independent.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Olusade Adesola presented the newly elected  Exco members of the Nigeria Olympic Committee to the Honourable Minister even as he congratulated the new Exco for a successful election.  He enjoined the Exco members to sustain the trajectory and embrace a well structured programme that will move the nation’s sports development forward.
 Earlier in his remarks, the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee and Leader of the delegation of the newly elected Exco members of the NOC, Engr. Habu Gumel, commended the Honourable Minister for his proactive steps within few weeks in office to chart a way forward for the development of Sports in Nigeria.
Gumel assured the Minister that NOC is passionately committed to the delivery of values to stakeholders, especially in the area of capacity building to support the National Federation’s administration and technical structures.       He stated that ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the NOC, with the support of the International Olympic Committee and Association of National Olympic Committee of Africa (ANOCA) secured international training scholarship for about 23 Nigerian elite athletes, adding that 14 Nigerian athletes are currently benefiting from Olympic preparation scholarships ahead of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
 Engr.. Gumel further stated that the NOC is equally working in synergy with some international partners, who have provided technical training for 500 Nigerian Coaches in different Olympic Sport Federation in the last decade, adding that NOC is equally committed to the training of Sport Administrators and Managers through the National Sport Administration courses and the Advance Sports Management programmes.
 The NOC President assured the Minister that all hands has been on deck for the preparations to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, promising that the federations will come out strong in the subsequent qualifiers.
The meeting had in attendance, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Olusade Adesola, Directors of the Ministry, and NOC Exco members including African Queen of Track, Chief Mary Onyali Omagbemi.
Olatunji John
Principal Information Officer
For: Director, Press