Shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated his Cabinet on Wednesday, at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, spoke with correspondents.
Prompt News Online State House Correspondent, HARRY AWURUMIBE, captures the first ever interview by the Minister. Below are excerpts:
Question: Congratulations Honorable Minister of Youths Development and Sports, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare on your well deserved appointment and inauguration today (Wednesday, August 21, 2019) as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and also a member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Sir, can you let us into your policy thrust and also how you are going to tackle the enormous problems bedeviling Nigerian sports especially as your immediate predecessor left a lot of unresolved battles which may distract you as you assume duty?
Answer: First and foremost I appreciate Mr. President for finding me worthy for a ministerial position and to be the minister of Youths Development and Sports. The ministry stands on two legs. Youth development and sports development.
I think we are going to see a total reorientation. We are going to have necessary crucial conversation and engagement with all stakeholders when necessary to be able to empower not just the youths but also to develop sports to bring it at par with global 21st century sport.
So we go to work from today and it can be done because we have the resources, we have the personnel and we have the expertise.
“We will settle down we will have conversations when necessary, some will be crucial and some will be confrontational but eventually we will come up with plans that will work for our country, work for our youth and works for our sports development”.
Question: As a follow up sir, luckily, you have been in the media and you know that sports is a media event as FIFA will tell you that the welfare of footballers, that is the sportsmen, and then the media are very crucial. Are you ready because your success or failure will be determined by your relationship with the media? Again, your Permanent Secretary will tell you this much. How do you intend to work with the media sir?
Answer: “Well, communications is essential whether in politics or in business and particularly in sports. Sports itself is a means of communication. We will engage the media. Like I said, media is a critical stakeholder in sports development. We have the era of multimedia which is critical.
“We‘ll leverage on multimedia that we have .We’ll leverage on all the digital platforms that we have. And we’ll run an open sports administration in this country that seeks to empower the youths and also make our sports talents to be one of the best in the world.
Question: Sir, in terms of youth development, there has been a major capital flight in the country with our youths migrating to other countries to seek for greener pastures. How are you going to tackle these migration issue?
Answer: There’s gonna be a collaborative approach. Because domiciled in every ministry are opportunities for the youths. As a minister for Youths Development, I will explore, I will seek out opportunities in virtually all ministries that conforms to the mandate of the Youth (Development) and Sports ministry. To seek out opportunities that can engage, develop and employ our youths across the country. And I think that will go a long way to stem the flight of capital migration.
Sunday Dare, from Oyo State was a top executive at the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) before he was appointed a Minister.