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2024 OLYMPIC GAMES: Enoh asks NOC to upscale preparation

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The minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh has charged the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) to upscale its preparations ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games scheduled to take place in Paris, France.

He gave the charge on Tuesday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja when the Executive Members of the Nigeria Olympic Committee led by its President Engr. Habu Ahmed Gumel visited him.
The Director of Press and Public Relations
Mohammed Manga in a statement quoted
Senator  Enoh to have stated that early preparations for the Games will not only provide the athletes ampled opportunities in their  various sporting fields but will also  enable the country to record podium finishes at the international competitions

The Minister explained further that the desire of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration is to ensure the development of sports not only as a mere recreation but as a business with a view to providing job opportunities for our teeming youth, alleviate poverty in the society as well as to enhance peace and unity in the country.

This, he added, was demonstrated through the creation of a Ministry of Sports Development and in his appointment as the Minister to drive this important policy thrust of government.

He explained that sports remained the most unifying factor in Nigeria and  that the government was determined to develop the sector so as to strengthen the unity of this country for the betterment of all.

Senator Owan Enoh assured that under his watch,  the Ministry of Sports Development will not only recognise key stakeholders in the industry but was ready to partner and collaborate with them for the development of the industry.

He informed that the renewed Hope Agenda of the Government also provides an opportunity for inclusiveness in sports by both male and females as well as for private sector participation.  That was why he added that *the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) approved by the immediate past administration was recently endosed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration in its renewed Hope Agenda*

He advised the executive members of NOC to look into the document to  see the areas that it can explore towards attracting private sector partnerships to help in the development of athletes so as to prepare them to  compete favourably with their  counterparts globally.

He  said that time has now come for all stakeholders in the industry to join hands with the Federal  Government to ensure the development of sports in the country, especially in the area of infrastructure upgrades, Grassroots Sports Development,  training of our athletes, Scholarships as well as in the area of  capacity building of the officials as government cannot do it alone.

In addition, the Minister reminded the Committee to ensure clean participation of the nation’s athletes during the competition, stating that the government will not condore any cases of doping during the competitions.

Speaking earlier, the President of  Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) Engr Habu Ahmed Gumel said that their visit was to congratulate the Honourable Minister on his appointment by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and subsequent confirmation as the Captain of Nigerian Sports  as well as to brief him on the activities of the Committee.

Engr Gumel who commended the Honourable Minister on the proactive and progressive steps he had taken within the first month in office, which he  said, are clear pointers that his tenure is poised to chart a new course for Nigerian Sports assured that the Nigeria Olympic Committee, as co-partner with the Ministry of Sports Development is committed to the delivery of values to the stakeholders, especially in the area of capacity building to support National Federation Administrative and Technical Structures with a view to ensuring that the country joins the Committee of Sporting Nations.

He stated that the committee’s core objective is providing international and local training scholarships for Nigerian elite and upcoming athletes as well as support grants to team sports. *This we do  in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA and the Commonwealth  Games  Federation (CGF), so as to assist our athletes in preparation for qualification tournaments and participation in the Olympic Games, Commonwealth and African Games.  By so doing,  the NOC is able to augment what the Government is doing to prepare our athletes for these Games*’ he said.

The NOC President who enumerated other areas of the body’s  contributions to the development of sports in Nigeria assured President Bola Ahmed Tinubu through the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh that the Committee will not only do everything humanly possible  to ensure that the country qualify for participation clean in the forth coming Olympic Games,  but also will bring  in their wealth of experience to bear in ensuring that Nigeria  records podium finishes at the international competitions.

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Sports minister lauds Afriking Homes for successful handover of facility

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***Urges other private sector investors to embrace initiative

Minister of Sports and Youth Development Senator John Owan Enoh has commended the Management of AfriKing Homes Ltd for the successful completion and handover of the Abuja National Stadium Training Pitch to the Federal Ministry of Sports Development.

The Adopt-A-Pitch initiative was initiated by the former Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare

Senator Enoh during the handover ceremony held at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja on Thursday, commended the organization for rehabilitating the training pitch, saying that it was a remarkable achievement not only for the football family but to the development of sports in Nigeria
Director of Press and Public Relations, Mohammed Manga in a statement quoted the minister to have
urged other private and corporate organizations to follow suit by actively participating in similar ventures under  his expanded ‘Adopt-A-Facility-Initiative’, stating that the new expansion initiative will make room to encompass other sports federations.

The Minister explained that the new initiative was designed to ensure the full implementation of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration which recently endorsed the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) approved by the immediate past administration which classified sports as a business and not just a mere recreation.

He added that the Federal Ministry of Sports Development under his watch is ready to collaborate with the private sector organisations using this policy initiative of government to advance sports development in Nigeria.
“The Ministry of Sports Development under my leadership has also committed itself to sustaining the program under which AfriKings Homes undertook this project.
“The only difference is that it is now called Adopt-A-Facility Programme. In the wisdom of the Ministry, a facility encompasses more.
“As we deal with several other sporting federations, we want to ensure the window is open for all federations to thrive.” Senator Enoh said.

The Minister who observed that what Afriking Homes did  is no-easy feat, but that the effort was driven by passion, benevolence, love for the sports and love for the country, stated further that, “The Federal Ministry of Sports Development commends this effort and is proud of Afri Kings Homes Ltd for this gesture.
“It is a partnership that we will continue to nurture for national interest.”

Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary overseeing the Federal Ministries of Sports and Youth Development Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar stated that the Federal Ministry of Sports Development will continue to create an enabling environment for the successful engagement of the corporate and private sector organisations with a view to ensuring the successful development of sports in the country, especially in the areas of grassroots sports and infrastructure upgrade so as to provide job opportunities for our teeming youth, alleviate poverty amongst them in order to foster unity, peace and stability in the nation.

In his remarks, Chairman of AfriKing Homes Ltd, Kingsley James Awodi, highlighted the company’s dedication to the project, stating that the rehabilitation of Practice Pitch 1 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium was part of their corporate social responsibility to support the efforts of the Federal Government in enhancing the nation’s sporting infrastructure.

Awodi assured the Honourable Minister of their unwavering commitment to the maintenance and upkeep of the facility for the next two years.

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Sports minister promises to create equal opportunities for all in sports sector

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The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has assured that he will work towards addressing some general practices in the sector to ensure that ethical standards are imbibed so as to provide equal opportunities for young talents to excel in their various sporting endeavours.

This the minister saidit is order to ensure fairness in the sports ecosystem.
Director of Press and Public Relations Mohammed Manga in a statement quoted ttge minister to have given the assurance on Thursday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, when a delegation from the Prestige Football Academy, led by its President, Mr. Uchendu Stephen, paid him a courtesy call.

The Minister who was responding to the delegation’s proposal submitted to him, stated that government was committed to fostering a conducive environment for the growth and development of sports in the country and as such, the Ministry under his watch will review the proposal aimed at regulating the scouting system within Nigeria’s sports landscape.

He stated that Nigeria’s sports talent pool makes it a hotbed for all forms of sports scouting activities, adding that scouting plays a critical role in nurturing and harnessing the nation’s sports potential which makes it a destination of choice for scouts from all around the world.

Senator Enoh who informed that most people in the sector are concerned about the subject of the scouting process of our young men and women, observed that “when our sports men and women go out of the shores of Nigeria, and breakforth, the support they send to their families and the laurels that they win are of benefit to the country”

He however added that the manner in which some of our sports men and women leave need to be addressed.

The Minister assured that the Ministry will continue to create an enabling environment for the development of sports in the country, in line with the policy thrust of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration and that scouting forms the bedrock of identifying and nurturing future sports stars and that there was the need for the stakeholders in the industry to recognize the value of an organized scouting system that fosters fairness, transparency, and professionalism.

Senator Owan Enoh said the Ministry will review the appropriateness of the proposal, as it remains resolute in its dedication to uplifting the ethics of scouting.

He stated that sports is a universal matter which is promoted globally, and as such Nigeria will ensure its commitment to enhancing Football Scouting Regulations in line with global best practices.

*Nigeria will work to facilitate a process that integrates fair play, integrity, professionalism and equal opportunities for all sports talents, especially footballers*, he said.

Speaking earlier, the President, Prestige Football Academy, Mr Uchendu Stephen, thanked the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh for granting them audience inspite of his busy schedules.

He expressed optimism that if the proposal submitted to government was adopted after a thorough review, the reforms would be pivotal in transforming the scouting landscape as well as would ensure that deserving talents receive the attention and opportunities they merit.

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How African footballers make money for cousins, in-laws to enjoy, by Mikel Obi

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John Mikel Obi
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Former Super Eagles and Chelsea midfield maestro, John Mikel Obi, has lamented that African footballers do not enjoy the wealth they labour for, as their extended families and relatives who overwhelm them with financial burdens are the most beneficiaries of their hard-earned money.

Mikel said the pressure was on the footballers on the African continent to shoulder the responsibilities of both their nuclear and extended families, adding that it has been a silent cry they all endure.

The 36-year-old former Nigerian skipper said that sometimes they hardly cater for themselves after they settle the financial problems of their relatives, stating that, “When you make money, it’s not yours.”

Mikel revealed this while appearing on the latest episode of Vibes with 5 podcast with former Manchester United and England legend, Rio Ferdiannd, as he added that the majority of them as African footballers do not talk about this challenge.

He said, “We come from Africa, and this is something that I don’t think we speak a lot about. When you make money, it’s not your money. You have all these relatives, cousins, and others asking for money.

“Then your sisters get married to some guy who just wants to get married into John Obi Mikel’s family because then “my life is sorted”. You send money to your sister; the money goes to him, and he does whatever he does with it. This is something nobody knows about.

“So you get your salary, and you put some aside for this person; put this aside for that person; put this aside for mom and dad. Before you know it, where is it? You get nothing.”

Mikel also decried the trending problematic issue of Africans who give birth to many children without the economic and financial muscles to nurture them, thus becoming the responsibilities of the African athletes.

He said, “They keep having so many kids, and you look at it and ask the question, “You have this many kids; who is going to look after them?” Then you realise it’s you. They look out for you to look after the kids, the husband, and the husband’s family. And it becomes really and absolutely crazy. For them, you owe them that; that is the culture. I was talking to Osimhen the other day, and he said the same thing.”

He said he was in the same position until he resolved to end it about five years ago, on the advice of his agent.

“So sometimes you have to be strong and say enough is enough. I don’t care. For me, that was five years ago; I say no more. Because I’ve been doing this since I started playing football,” he said.

“The reaction is that you become the bad guy. They stop answering your phone calls. They don’t call you to ask about you; they only call to ask for money.

“My agent told me, ‘Mikel, you can’t be doing this. You’re killing yourself, and you’re killing them. Because all you do is give them, and they get so comfortable that they expect you to do that for the rest of your life. And I came to that point five years ago, where I stopped.”

“They will give you this thing, whereby if you don’t do it, they say, “We’re going to the press.” What? After all that I’ve done for you guys?”

Culled from Daily Trust

 

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