James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
In its quest to accord priority to the Sport sector through enabling legislation for the overall develoment of the sector in Ogun State, the State House of Assembly has organised a Stakeholders Forum to brainstorm on the proposed State Sports Commission and Sports Trust Funds Laws, 2019.
The Step according to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, remained a veritable means to ensure the total turn around in the sector for more efficient and productive sporting activities to attract funds from the private sector to finance the sector.
Describing youth as a critical segment for the foundation of national development, Oluomo assured that the Ninth legislature would prioritise issues affecting their welfare and development, noting that the two bills would boost sport development, organisation, management and funding, just as it would address unemployment and reduce social vices.
He noted that the Assembly would give the necessary legislative backing to the current administration in the State to ensure that all sport segments would be equally and judiciously promoted, saying that sports remained a potent means of promoting physical, psychological and mental development of youth which must be accorded the deserved recognition.
Stakeholders who contributed during the public hearing included representatives of the Association of International Sports Agencies, State Ministry of Youth and Sports, State Sports Council, Football Club Managers, Justice Development and Peace Commission, National Youth Council, Nigeria Bar Association, State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, retired sports administrators and Sports allied practitioners from the academia amongst others.
They lauded the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for initiating the bill which they described as age-long dream that would aid the development of sports in the State, noting that the establishment of a commission for administrative and financial autonomy to manage the sector would allow the State reclaim its enviable position among its peers.
They added that the Sports Trust Fund remained an extension services of the Public Private Partnership initiative of the present administration to attract more independent partners from the private sector for the entire transformation of the sector.
Calling for the appointment of technocrats and seasoned sport administrators to be members of the Commission and Trust Fund when the bill becomes operational, the stakeholders called for the total overhaul of sports management in the State through improved bureaucratic process, scouting for talents and engagement of Student talents in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across the State.
In his submission, Chairman, House Committee on Youth and Sports, Hon. Olusola Adams, assured that the views of stakeholders at the event would be aggregated in the bills, stating that the essence of the bills was to encourage seasoned sport administrators to contribute their quota to sport development through fund generation from corporate donations and endowment for proper management of sporting facilities and Sports men and women in the State.