Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is, this Wednesday set to assign portfolios to the 43 ministers-designate who were last month cleared by Senate.
Among them will be a minister in charge of sports. As a former head of sports in Nigeria, Chief Alex Akinyele once put it, the Minister of Sports will be the ‘Game Master-General of the Federation.
He will oversee the over 33 national sports associations in the country. The last occupier of the office is Solomon Dalung.
There have been speculations of the likely successors. Among those whose names are being dropped is Festus Keyamo.
But if the trend in the last 20 years is anything to go by, the sports ministry may have been zoned to the North Central. The zone has produced 12 of the past 14 sports ministers.
The only sports ministers not to have come from the zone are Taoheed Adedoja of Oyo State and Tamuno Danagogo of Rivers State.
Plateau State, just like Kwara State produced three sports ministers since 1999. If the two states were to produce the new sports minister, Nigeria may have its first female sports minister in either Pauline Tallen of Plateau State or Gbemi Saraki of Kwara State. A third possible female sports minister is Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu of Yobe State.
The ministers-designate had a two-date retreat on Monday and Tuesday. They will be inaugurated into the Federal Executive Council this Wednesday.
They will also be assigned their respective roles during the inauguration ceremony.