Shortly after the Speaker of the House, Kogi State Assembly, Rt. Hon Mathew Kolawole, assured sports stakeholders that he would develop the industry, some stakeholders are pointing the Speaker to specific areas of priority.
The stakeholders advised that the state government should invest in sports men and in order to tackle development challenges in the industry.
Adama Idris, Director, Marketing and Sponsorship, Nigeria Football Federation (NFA) told aclsports.com in an exclusive interview that a blueprint on sports development must be on ground for the current administration to follow.
The Kogi-born administrator noted that “there is urgent need for a sports summit to be held for the best heads to sit and chart a way for the growth of sports.
“There must be a blue print for sports development, commitment to actions, infrastructure and the sports budget consequential in the state agenda. Grassroots programme should be held quarterly, a stadium worth over N4.2 billion grossly underutilised.
“What do you expect the coaches to do? Aside talent, sports is money and there must be a determination from the governments to harness the talents for economic prosperity of their region.
“Watch what is going on at the IAAF in London and evaluate Nigeria’s performance. It is the general attitude of our government towards sports development. Some school of thought will say, it is supposed to be private sector driven, that is complete fallacy. Private sector is profit oriented and as such are only interested in ready made brands for leverages.”
On the issue of non availability of funds to the state’s sports council he said: “I am not a bureaucrat, but if the sports council cannot access funds due to bottle neck, where is the bottle neck coming from? What role has the legislature played so far in the dilapidated state Of Sports in Kogi State?”
A grassroots sports developer, Gideon Juwon, also speaking with ACLSports.com, said sports should be made compulsory in both primary and secondary schools in the state.
“Sports should be made compulsory in schools (which includes state owned higher institutions) and the ministry of education find a way of monitoring this.
“Schools and colleges must submit their chosen date to the ministry for proper monitoring. By this, the ministry can delegate coaches to schools to identify talents for further development,” he said.
The former teacher revealed that while in the classroom, he discovered athletes that are currently representing the country at international tournaments.
“Without any coach, because of my interest, I discovered the current National 400 metres Athletics champion, Yinka Ajayi and also Ronke Olumudi one of our marathoners at St Monica school, Kabba.
“As I speak, I can produce 2-3 athletes that will win medals for the state if featured in the youth games, as well as a formidable handball team,” he said.
An Olympian, Musa Suleman, shedding more light to the issue of developing sports said: “The best thing that will happen to Kogi State is to scrap the Ministry of Youth and Sports, replacing it with Kogi State Sports Commission.