•   09/16/2021 05:50:16 pm
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2021 PUBLICATION HON. CHIEF SUNDAY AKIN DARE: THE MILESTONES OF A SPORTS MINISTER BY PROF EMMANUEL OJEME

2021 PUBLICATION HON. CHIEF SUNDAY AKIN DARE: THE MILESTONES OF A SPORTS MINISTER BY PROF EMMANUEL OJEME

Hon Chief Sunday Dare, the Agba Akin of Ogbomosho is an indigene of Oyo

State and the Minster of Youth and Sports in President Muhammadu Buhari’s

Second term cabinet. Since he became Minister of Youth and Sports, the 55

year old energetic and vibrant officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has

recorded good deeds worth talking about, as the giant strides in his ministerial

portfolio. The purpose of this brief article is to undertake a profiling of some of

the Minister’s achievements in the landscape of sports in Nigeria particularly as

the administration he serves is half-way in its tenure. It is pertinent also, on

behalf of this writer and followership, however, to wish the Hon. Minster of

Youth and Sports who turned 55 years on May 29th 2021, a happy birthday

celebrations and many more years of fruitful services and celebrations.

Chief Sunday Dare has verve and eloquence and also he is one of the

most energetic and enthusiastic Sports Ministers Nigeria has had. He is a hands on Sports Officer. Since he took on the responsibility of leadership as Sports

Minster, he has been known to do some commendable things. The following are note worthy.

 

(1) Adopt an Athlete Initiative

This strategy of sports development which is athlete-centered is aimed at

bringing men and women of means to assist the athletes to actualize their

goals in terms of education, scholarship, athletic training and

competitions.

It is on record that many Nigerians of means are already giving a helping

hand to the athletes. The significance of this complimentary athlete

development strategy can be very far reaching. He has also declared to

adopt some gymnasts who will be representing Nigeria in the Tokyo 2020

Olympic Games. Just as the Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi

Okowa has also adopted seven athletes for sponsorship to the Tokyo

Olympic Games, as well.

It should be pointed out also that this policy has extended to private

sector adoption of Sports facilities for renovation.

 

2. Initiation of a New Sports Development Policy

This Sports Minster has championed the fashioning of a new Sports

Industry Policy. Although the Policy received very turbulent reactions

because of it’s over arching orientation of Sports as an enterprise, It certainly will bring about a new era of Sports development in Nigeria

given the wide-ranging stakeholders participation in the making of the

policy and so long as the policy will be effectively implemented, it is

bound to make impact in the development of Sports in Nigeria.

 

3. A Surge in the Visibility of Nigerian Athletes in Competitions:

The Sports Minster has re-energized the involvement of Nigerian athletes

in competitions at all levels. The Minister has revived the old Principals

Cup and national School Sports Competitions. These are commendable

and with expected needed reforms in the organization and management

of the Games, the future remains very bright.

 

4. Providing Succour to Retired Athletes and Families

The Hon. Minster does not only motivate performing athletes to excel, he

also provides succour for retired athletes and families. Notable are (1) the

intervention in the case of Khadiri Ikhana with respect to payment of

hospital bills (2) succour to the family of Late Super Eagles Player, Mr.

Samuel Okwaraji by donating cash and foodstuffs to the aged parents.

These and many more unreported philanthropic gestures of the Hon.

Minister are commendable.

 

5. Successful Hosting of Edo 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF)

The much troubled Edo 2020 NSF was successfully staged and it is a

credit to his Ministry and leadership as well as the Edo State government. The

actualization of Edo 2020 NSF has provided great impetus to Nigeria’s overall

Sports development strategic plan and participation in Tokyo 2020 Olympic

Games. It has also triggered the need for urgent reforms to improve its

fortunes.

There is no doubt that Hon. Chief Akin Sunday Dare, an acknowledged and

accomplished professional journalist, who would have also octanely excelled as a Minister of Information, an area where he has deep knowledge and training, has done very well in his portfolio as Sports Minister.

What else can the Hon. Minster do to further entrench his name in the golden

books of Nigeria’s Sports history?

I wish to plead with the Minster to endeavour to vigorously pursue the

reinstatement of the National Sports Commission as the Central agency of

Government in Sports Services delivery.

This organizational agency will transform Nigerian Sports by institutionalization

of professionalism in Nigerian Sports development. If you add this agency to the approval and adoption of a National Sports Development Policy, your name

and Ministerial role will be ever shining in Nigeria’s Sports history literature long

after you have left office. The Hon. Minister of Youths and Sports has achieved

other milestones in Youth and Sports development not covered by this

narration. This presentation serves as a bird’s eye view of his highlights.

Considering the fact that much of his tenure in the last two years has been hit

hard by the global Covid-19 pandemic, there is no doubt that this Minister is

living up to expectations in his works. Hoping that as he marches to the last

half of this administration, much more milestones would be recorded in his

report card.



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