DEVELOPING SPORTS IN NIGERIA

BY FRANCIS . O. OKOYE

A report sent to the sports reform committee,office of the ministry of youths and sports Abuja through Godwin Kienka

MAJOR OBSTACLE TO SPORTS DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
The major obstacles to sports development in Nigeria
Government interference in the management and administration of
sports. In most instance, sports management and administration jobs are given out as a favour to politicians who do not have any idea of how to run them or who have never played any sports or administered any sports at any level in their lives.

They also see such positions as an avenue to get money as compensation for their political participation-hence the emphasis is on, what do I get from this job instead of how do I make things work.

Lack of Data base of sportsmen and sportswomen-past and present Nigeria government does not have a data base of sports men and women in the present as well as past. Most sports Federation do not have records of those who represented the Nation 20 years ago, not to talk of 60 years ago, with such record keeping, how can ex-sports men and Ex-sports women be known and used to manage our sports.

Failure to use knowledgeable sports men and sports women and sports professionals like sports writers, sports administrators in the managements of sports, has helped to disfigure Nigerian sports.

Public enlightment – The failure of public enlightment to tell our people the importance of sports and recreation and starting this at the grass root, schools, religious centers is responsible for the poor turnout at sports events in Nigeria and is a major obstacle to the development of sports in Nigeria.

Sports infrastructures – The infrastructures are lacking at the Federal, state and LGA levels. If people don’t have where to take part in sporting activities –how can sports be developed.

Promotion of sports – This is an area where Nigeria is scoring 2%. Sports promotion as a business is capable of employing over 5000 persons and earning income for the Nation and for the sports men and women as well as the promoters and their sponsors.

2.0 Frame work for systematic discovery, Identification, training and deployment of athletes into sporting activities.

2.1. To begin with the sports ministry has to employ 4 sports coaches per
LGA in Nigeria, 2 of whom should be ex-sports men and ex-sports
women and other 2 graduates of physical and health education or
graduates of NIS Lagos .

2.2. Creation of a sports development desk at each state charged with identifying, introducing and organizing sports activities at the grass roots and finding sponsors from Politicians, Companies, Business men, Religious groups and Communities etc.

They would also monitor the sports coaches at the local government level and work with them.

3.0 Institutional, legal and other arrangements to professionalize sports and career options for youths.

You can hire a professional to prepare such a document and pay him or her for the services as a consultant. My father studied and was attached to top 10 professional football clubs in Britain including Chelsea, Arsenal, QPR etc.while studying for his Professional football coaching license for UK organized by FA LONDON AND WALES..

You can approach him for such, as I don’t have all the knowledge or experience for that.My father died in october 2017 after i had sent out this report.

4.0 Ways of restructuring sports federations in a way that all sate holders have a say, attracting knowledge and resourceful leadership.

4.1 Sports federations must be at the federal, state and local governments.
4.2 Composition of the sports federations at the federal State and local governments must be as follows.

Government nominee
Coaches nominee
Sports writer nominee
Businessman nominee
Religious organization nominee (2)
Referees nominee
Sports Academician nominee
Ex-sports person nominee
Community leader nominee
Armed forces nominee
Club owners nominee
Youths nominee
Traders nominee
14.Women nominee
4.3 Each sports federation must have structure in 1/3 of all LGA in Nigeria in other to be recognized ,registered, so that they would not be “Abuja” only associations.

5.0 ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF REVENUE FOR FUNDING SPORTS DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA.

5.1 Setting up of a National Sports betting fund.
Sports betting companies should pay 5% of their earnings into this fund, law to that effect should be passed.

5.2 National sports lottery fund – This should be revived and funds from it used to develop infrastructure and sports funding.

5.3 Law mandating companies having a profit of over 100 million per annum, to set aside 40% of their CSR to sports funding and development.

5.4 Setting up of a National sports trust fund, of which interest from it would be used to administer sports.

6.0 REPOSITIONING NIGERIA SPORTS FOR EFFECTIVE AND ENDURING DEVELOPMENT.

6.1 Setting up of an office of National sports adviser, whose duty is to draw out and carry out plans for effective sports development just like we have the National security adviser.

6.2 Using the right persons for sports administration, no matter where they come from. For this reason alone, Nigeria lost a lot in not using the service of my father FRANCIS OBI OKOYE who holds today the highest football coaching qualification of any Nigeria alive or dead from Britain as far back as 1979. He also has a certificate from Britain in sports management, administration and organization and stadium management.

Who knows about others like him. He is over 80years old and spends half of him time in the U.S.A and maybe willing to help out in the development of our sports. He also played for Nigeria in 1950-59.

6.3 Oversea training of our Ex-sports men and Ex-women in coaching should be a top most priority.

6.4 Setting up a Hall of fame for past sportsmen and women both living and dead.

6.5 Giving Award to them at National level ie Ex-sports persons.

ABOUT FRANCIS .O. OKOYE
Francis Obinna Okoye started writing sports as far back as 1991 for Daily/Weekly
Star, Enugu and Headlines Newspapers of Daily Times .he now writes sports for our nation newspapers ,Onitsha since 2011, but stopped when sports at the states and local communities became destroyed and no longer fort coming. He also did sports cartoons for sporting champion in 1990’s.

He is an author, freelance Journalist of over 25 years, a contributing Editor to
Healthcare magazine, is on Citizen News Service Health Fellowship 2016-2017
and publishes an online magazine www.nigeriapoliticsmagazine.com and on the editorial team of US based magazine America mi dream magazine

Tel: 08038005065
e-mail: francisookoye@gmail.com