Towards Charting A New Direction To Sports Development; Sports Minister Inaugurates Advisory Committee to Review Team Nigeria At IAAF in Doha

The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare has reiterated the commitment of the present administration to chart a new direction towards sports development in Nigeria, even as he expressed concern of the Ministry on the abysmal and less performance of the Team Nigeria at the recently concluded International Athletic Federation (IAAF) World Championship in Doha, Qatar.

  1.    Towards reviewing the participation and poor performance of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria at Doha, the Minister, today, at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, inaugurated a Ministerial Advisory Committee to appraise the causes and factors responsible and as well provide immediate and necessary measures to forestall future reoccurrence in other tournaments.
  2.    According the Minister, ‘’there were arguments and counter arguments of indiscipline and headiness. However, there can be no fire without smoke. Your Committee is therefore to unearth the smoke that billowed to the fire of indiscipline that deprived the nation of its enviable position at the 2019 World Athletics Championship’’.
  3.    Appreciating the acceptance of the 7-member panel to serve as advisory body to the ministry, the Minister reminded members of the committee that Nigerians and indeed the sports community are looking forward to their wise counsel to unravel the ‘’facts, figures and falsehoods’’ of the lacklustre performance at Doha. He added that, ‘’you are also saddle with the responsibility to unravel the events that led to the disqualification of two promising athletes of the AFN and the response to the enquiry of the Ministry on same’’.
  4.    Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Olusade Adesola, stated that newspapers were a washed with various issues and concerns raised during the participation of Team Nigeria at Doha, adding that the Ministry is interested in the issues that emanated from that event, to which the Honourable Minister deemed it appropriate to set up this advisory committee to review and advise the Ministry.
  5.    He further remarked that the committee is not to witch hurt anybody but rather to chart a course for the development of the sport of athletics in Nigeria. Adesola said that ‘’without a history, there cannot be a future’’. He described that the assignment of the committee will help in projecting better for the future.
  6.    In his acceptance speech and on behalf of members of the committee, the Chairman, Prof Ben Anugweje expressed profound gratitude to the Honourable Minister for finding members of the committee worthy to undertake the all important assignment. He stated that members of the committee were well aware of the magnitude of importance attached to sports, adding that athletics ranks very high among the sports Nigerians are passionate about.
  7.    The chairman promised that the committee will not carry out an inquisition but rather more like a fact finding mission, nothing that the advisory body will be impartial and diligent in carry out this assignment, Anugweje said.
  8.    The Terms of Reference of the committee amongst others includes but not limited to evaluate the remote and immediate factors responsible for the avoidable disqualification of Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru; make recommendations that would ensure improved performance of Nigeria’s Athletes at major Championships and establish outstanding claims to Athletes and officials from Doha 2019.
  9.    The Committee has within one week to turn up its report.


Olatunji John

Principal Information Officer

For: Director Press