26th August, 2011
The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, has pledged to make paramount the welfare of athletes preparing for the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.
He made this pledge when he visited the Ibadan training camp of the athletes to monitor their progress as they intensify their preparation for the Pan Africa Olympics.
Suleiman assured the coaches and athletes that his ministry through the National Sports Commission,NSC, will do everything within his power to make sure they excel at the games.
â€œI can assure you all that we are doing everything possible to make sure you have best preparation for the championship. We are prepared to provide everything you need to aid your preparation,â€ he said.
Commenting on the nationâ€™s preparations for the 10th All Africa Games, he stated that the goal of the NSC is to see that Nigeria finishes among the top three nations at the forth-coming games.
He lamented the inability of the nationâ€™s U-23 soccer team to qualify for the soccer event of the games but promised that the commission would work hard to ensure Nigeria qualifies for the soccer event of the London 2012 Olympics.
He said: â€œOur target is to ensure that Nigeria records its best performance in All Africa Games in Mozambique.â€
Suleiman said that in order to ensure Nigeria remains the giant in sports, the Federal Government has planned to partner with the state governments to provide community sports centres across the country.
He said the Federal Government had already provided take-off grants for some of the projects.
The sports minister said that part of the commissionâ€™s programme would involve encouraging the private sector to show interest in sports development through the provision of sports equipment in the local communities nation-wide.
â€œWe want to carry everyone along in the process of making the country great again in sports not only on the continent of Africa but also at the global stage,â€ he said.
He indicated the readiness of his administration to ensure the review of management structure of National Sporting Federations that will attract alternative source of funding for sports through private sector partnership.