You are involved in the initiative to use sports and education to curb the agitations in the Niger Delta, in specific terms what is your role?
Yes my organization is involved and our role is to help provide the missing link in our sports sector. In Nigeria, most talents are not being discovered because their parents may not allow them to play without education. On the other hand, most of the sports people we have today could also have done so well academically if they had the opportunity to have gone to school. Incidentally, each time a sports person gets a career threatening injury that may be the end because there is no education that he ought to fall back on.
Also what we are doing is in line with the new thinking in FIFA concerning career pact. Here we are talking about sports marketing, management and promotion. This programme has the first stage at the foundation and it will last for four months. This four months programme is a module that can help the player in future.
The interesting thing about this scheme is that at the end of your playing career, you can go for your Post Graduate Diploma and subsequently the M Sc in sports management. The first batch we have are the 66 talented players the Amnesty and the SiaOne screened.
Have you also made moves for Nigerian universities to accommodate these students for their degree programmes?
We hope that universities in Nigeria will begin to include the programme in their curriculum, but it will not be immediate because they may want to observe the idea. One thing that is certain is that these students can go back to the countries where they offer these courses and do their masters.
Sports is one commodity that we have ready for sale. Today it has become an industry and it will do the country much good if we key into this untapped sector.
Do you have any drawbacks in your quest?
The only hindrance we envisage is about the connectivity. We need an efficient internet connection to be able to download all that we need for the students to learn. However, we are trying to find a way to solve that problem.