By Onochie Anibeze
Sports in Nigeria may not grow the way the National Sports Commission is staffed, structured and run,” Jide Josiah, an athletics official said in Moscow with authority.
Josiah is growing white hairs over the frustrations sports associations face in their attempts to grow their sports. Josiah bared his mind in a chat in Moscow during 14th edition of the World Championships which ended on Sunday. Said he:
“Officials of the sports ministry have a way of tampering with funds meant for the associations. Some secretaries of the associations connive with some senior staff of the ministry and what is due to the associations never gets to them. It’s a cabal.
They are in the world of their own. Even kits supplied to associations end up in the markets. They sell them. They appropriate the big and small things to themselves and leave out the athletes.
That’s how petty they are. They make claims on behalf of the associations and when the funds are released they never get to the associations. This sports minister has shown that he wants to change things.
He needs the support of Nigerians especially the Presidency. He cannot perform well with many of the people in the sports ministry.
They cage all ministers sent to sports. They know how they do it. At the end of the day it is our sports that suffers and these people remain there. Bolaji has been barking.
He needs to start biting. He has already done a few things and the people are grumbling. He must not look back.
He must cleans the system of bad eggs but he needs the support of the Presidency to carry out the kind of sweeping changes that will help our sports.
He must do things the way he feels will help and not the approach that has failed us for a long time. We all know that sports is not being funded adequately. But what use do they put the little that comes? How do the staff of the ministry plan and execute sports programmes?
Something must be done to the NSC. Bolaji has started but he needs to do a lot more about sports development. He cannot succeed with some people in that ministry.
That’s why he should be allowed to hire people on contract basis to work for sports. They must not be civil servants. That’s why I say that he needs the support of the Presidency to change some things.
The good thing is that the man now appears to know where the real problems are and he wants to address so many issues. He should bark and bite. I hope he does so.”