The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare says efforts have reached an advanced stage for the return of the National Sports Commission (NSC) because it will make the sports federations run more efficiently and accountably.
Dare told State House correspondents in Abuja yesterday at the weekly Ministerial briefing, organized by the Presidential Communications Team, that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will also be able to focus more on policies and overall supervision with the Commission in place.
According to him, the National Sports Commission (NSC) will be headed by a sports technocrat who will ensure that the federations have financial autonomy, thereby able to source their own funds and run all their developmental programmes independently and effectively while the Ministry will be responsible for the preparation and participation of Team Nigeria athletes for the major international competitions.
“The Ministry is pushing for the return of the National Sports Commission (NSC) because that is the way to get our sports federations working effectively,” the Minister opened up, “the federations will be directly under the NSC and will be able to source their funds. The Ministry only steps in when there is a major International competition like the Olympics, African Games and Commonwealth Games.”
Speaking further, the Minister said, “the Sierra Leone National Sports Authority has a model. We can learn something from Sierra Leone’s sports system by making all sports federations autonomous and incorporated.
“We expected to have annual registration from the National Sports Commission which will certify and introduce them to their NOC as the recognised federation. We are looking at this and other options.
“Federations must be more accountable to their Boards. The era of taking government money and turning around to fight and attack government under the tool of interference will soon be over. We will ensure a new regime of responsibility and accountability.” Dare added.
Experts believe that Nigeria’s best years in sports was when the National Sports Commission was allowed to run independently without interference.