***ApplaudsEnugu State Government for promoting sports development
The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has visited the Headquarters of the South East Zonal Office of the Ministry to ascertain its level of preparedness for the promotion of sporting activities in the Zone.
This is in tandem with his avowed determination towards ensuring the development of sports from the grassroots.
A statement by the Director of Press and Public Relations in the ministry
Mohammed Manga indicated that during the visit which held on Saturday in Enugu, the Minister indicated that the Ministry under his watch will utilize
the Zonal Offices across the country with a view to decentralising sports so as to make room for easy discovery of talents, monitoring as well as grooming for the purpose of moving them to the elite stage
Earlier on a courtesy call on the Governor of Enugu State, Dr Peter Ndubusi Mbah, Senator Owan Enoh, who also inspected facilities in the State in the company of the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Lloyd Ekweremadu and some Management Staff of his Ministry, commended the Enugu State Government under his stewardship for its commitment to promoting sports through the innovative and comprehensive upgrade and rebranding of facilities in the State.
He stated that the Federal Government was impressed with the commitment of the State Government, especially in the areas of grassroots sports, talent identification,
infrastructure upgrade as well as in its vision for sports as a profitable business venture because it tallies with the Federal Government’s vision for the sector.
The Minister stated that he was in the State to visit the Heaquarters of the South East Zonal Office, inspect its sporting facilities as well as have a one-on-one discussion with His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Dr Peter Ndubuisi Mbah on how to unlock the economic potentials of sports.
He added that the visit would also avail him the opportunity of having a first-hand knowledge of Enugu State’s current status in the sports echo system in order to take definitive action on them.
The Minister noted that Enugu State deserves commendation from all sports loving Nigerians, especially in their
contributions to sports development, adding that the State has a rich history with an international brand like the Rangers football club.
While expressing the Ministry’s desire to collaborate with Enugu State Government to ensure that the sector wears a new face where interested businessmen and women can invest their money and make profits, Senator Owan Enoh added that the vision of government at the Federal level is to also see sports as a sector that can create jobs, alleviate poverty in the society and contribute to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
This further underscores the importance of our visit to the Zonal Office Headquarters located in the State. We are charging our Zonal Coordinators to brace up and begin to work closely and assiduously with their State host and also ensure that sports activities are organised and well packaged right at the grassroots in order to attract private sector sponsorships* he said.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports in the State, Lloyd Ekweremadu commended the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration for endorsing the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) approved by the immediate past administration which classified sports as a business and not just a mere recreation, a vision he said, is in line with the focus of the Governor Mbah-led administration.
Mr Ekweremadu observed that sports is a critical business sector that if well thought out and properly harnessed, can translate the passion and energies in our youth, provide jobs for them, increase our GDP and enable for a safe and peaceful environment for Nigerians as well as boost the economy of our nation.
In her remarks, the Zonal Coordinator, South East Zone, Ayi Roseline Chidiebere assured the Minister that the Zone will work assiduously towards the successful realisation of the policy objectives of the present administration.
She expressed optimism that with Senator Owan Enoh leading the new Ministry of Sports Development, Nigeria is sure to witness a systemic transformation of the sports industry in line with global realities.
The inspection tour by the Minister covered, the South East Zonal Headquarters of the Ministry, indoor sports hall, hostels under construction, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Rangers International Stadium, Rangers Administration offices as well as their football training field.
The South East Zonal Headquarters comprises Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi, Anambra and Imo States.
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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