The Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, has confirmed that the Nigerian Sports Commission (NSC), formed in 1971 as think-tank for the growth of sports in Nigeria was henceforth dissolved or simply merged with the Ministry of Sports.
The major gap in the dissolution of boards or committees in Nigeria is that it is sometimes done because of political or sectional interests and not to enhance the efficiency of the body.
In the beginning, the NSC was formed to “develop Sports Sector to a World Class Level, while “providing improvement in the quality of life for the entire citizenry”.
If we grade the establishment based on the above founding target, then by all means and purposes, the agency should be scrapped!
Mr. Dalung said, “Sports is a veritable tool for national development, it is a determinant in foreign policy and a determinant in tourism therefore should be properly harnessed to project the country in good light”.
From the above statement, it must mean that the NSC was not performing the task for which it was set up.
Sadiq Abdullahi, a former Davis Cup player for Nigeria, said Mr. Dalung had finally done what should have been done years before. “For me, this is a welcome decision that is long overdue. It is a decision that may well put Nigeria back on the right path to glory.
“Dalung seems to suggest that he has found the political will, courage and determination to finally do what is right for sports.
“The nation has experienced failure in sports for the last 30 years and the time has come uproot and begin afresh.”
“In order for ten people to have an amazing prowess, you have to have one hundred practicing intensely and one thousand just participating in the sport culture,” Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games said.
“In order to sell millions of T-shirts and basketball shoes, you have to have tens of millions of people playing sports and attributing to it a positive image,” could be added by today’s sporting good industry,” added Professor Jean-Loup Chappelet of the IDHEAP Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration.
What has happened in Nigeria is that we have not been able to get ‘one thousand just participating in the sport’ from which we would be able to pick a credible 10.
The NSC failed to provide the environment to have these ‘1000’ participate in competition against themselves thereby limiting the pool from which likely elite athletes could be discovered and groomed.
With the dissolution, the sports ministry must “be structured and organized to meet global best practices and best standards,” Mr. Abdullahi added.
“The organizational structure must be consistent with the private organizational structure if a business model is intended.
“To restore hope and confidence, the ministry would have to modify its institutional structure and operational processes in order to prevent corruption and fraud.
“This is consistent with global best practices in accountability, transparency and ethical governance.”
A word surely should be enough for those who want to give sports a lift in Nigeria.