The Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh has urged the private and corporate organizations to join hands with the present administration and support its efforts towards the development of grassroots sports in the country.
He made the call in Lagos during a monthly cycling race organised by the Pitstop Lagos Criterium.
A statement by director of Press and Public Relations Mohammed Manga, the minister stated that his presence at the event was imperative, especially as the exercise organized by the Pitstop community aims to promote grassroots cycling , athleticism and Adopt a Youth initiative which he said, seeks to shape responsible, dedicated, and exemplary youth through academic sponsorship, cycling, employment and mentorship by senior members of the cycling community.
He noted that his presence at the event is a demonstration to further prove that
government appreciates the critical role the private sector plays in the development of the sports industry, particularly at the grassroots level down to the elite, and that the corporate bodies should be encouraged by this.
Enoh explained further that it has been very revealing what is going on in our various sports communities, all targeted at growing grassroot sports and encouraging private sector involvement
He indicated that the president Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda for Sports Development in the country pays apt attention to the various sports and their Federations for proper development from the grassroot through to advanced levels.
This, he said, was one of the reasons the President out of his wisdom created a Ministry of Sports Development and appointed him to saddle its affairs.
The Minister declared that the ministry is open to private sector collaboration so as to ensure proper development of the sector with a view to providing job opportunities for our teeming youth, alleviate poverty amongst them and ensure a smooth, safe and peaceful society for all Nigerians in line with the policy thrust of the present administration.
The Minister who commended the sponsors of the event, used the opportunity to call on Sports loving Nigerians, corporate organisations and philanthropists to come out enmass and support the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration towards the realization of this policy objective.
Let me start by commending the sponsors of this event. I also want to seize this opportunity to encourage more Corporate Organizations , the private sector to do more. Having me come here sends a signal on the Ministry’s openness to collaborate with corporate organisations to develop grassroots sports and encourage greater private sector participation*, he stressed
Speaking earlier, a senior Pitstop Mentor, Mr Adebisi Adebutu, stated that the consistency of the event for the past four years has attracted major corporate sponsors such as Access Bank, Craneburg Construction and Ìlúbìrìn Lagos Island.
He informed that the support has also spiked interest in cycling such that it has become the fastest growing sport in the country, attracting a wide demography from across professional and recreational cyclists.
Mr Adebisi explained that
Cycling has developed this deep ecosystem that provides hope and opportunity to the young people involved in the sport, stating
that the cycling community has promoted the adopt an athlete initiative of the Federal Ministry of Sports Development
that has seen so many athletes being supported by recreational riders.
Fifty participants featured at the monthly
Pitstop Lagos Criterium with three teams involved. Team Access, Craneburg, and Team Ilubirin .
The competitors did 23 laps on the Dolphin loop, which saw Isaac Gana emerged 1st position and winner of the grand prize of one million naira while Team Access won the best team.
Sports minister lauds Afriking Homes for successful handover of facility
***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.
Sports minister promises to create equal opportunities for all in sports sector
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.
How African footballers make money for cousins, in-laws to enjoy, by Mikel Obi
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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