SWAN to Dalung: Enough of grandstanding, junketing around the world

Sports Minister Solomon Dalung
Sports Minister Solomon Dalung

The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) FCT Chapter rose from its monthly congress calling on the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung to stop grandstanding and face the task of moving Nigerian sports forward.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the Congress held recently, the body posited that rather than junketing around the world, the minister should present his blueprint for sports development to Nigerians.
The congress resolved as follows:
1. Congress urged President Muhammadu Buhari to hasten release of money for Nigeria’s preparation towards Rio 2016 as the country’s athletes are capable of winning medals at the Games, if there is adequate preparation. It also appealed to the President to beam his anti-corruption searchlight on the sports sector by investigating how the money that was disbursed for the All Africa Games in Congo in 2015 was expended.
2. That the Ministry of Youth and Sports should account for the N2.7 billion released by government last year for the All Africa Games participation in addition to the preparation of athletes for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
3. Minister of Youth and Sports should present and implement his blueprint for sports development, rather than grandstanding and gallivanting all over the world.
4. That government should leverage on the success of Team Nigeria, which was a deliberate, corporate-driven initiative, geared towards generating fund and to also ensure that money released is used on funding local and foreign training tours for athletes ahead of major international sporting events.
5. That government should explore alternative means, including the National Lottery Funds and Sports Development Funds to finance sports and augment its budgetary allocations. It should also consider making tax concessions and other generous rebate to corporations that sponsor sports.
6. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) should be lauded for contracting Samson Siasia as the Super Eagles stand-in -oach for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixtures against Egypt, in the wake of the uncertainty that followed the resignation of Sunday Oliseh. Congress deemed this as a move that will repose confidence and trust in indigenous coaches.
7. Congress flayed lack of continuity in sports administration and proposed that individuals with prerequisite skills and knowledge be appointed and elected into strategic sporting positions.
8. That the recent policy of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to stop paying match bonuses to all national age-grade teams should be condemned in the strongest term as it is capable of discouraging players from giving their best when called to represent the country.

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