BY KUNLE SOLAJA, RABAT, MOROCCO
Just one week on the saddle, Nigeria’s new Sports Minister has promised a holistic reform in the sector that unites all Nigerians.
To this end, he said the welfare of athletes would be the major focus of his administration. Sworn in as Nigeria’s 35th minister in charge of sports on Wednesday August 21st, a week later, he was in Rabat to join the competing Team Nigeria at the African Games.
“I landed here (Rabat) at 10.30 in the morning, and by 1pm I was at the weightlifting arena from where I moved round to table tennis, athletics and later to football”, Dare said while addressing the Nigerian contingent at the Games Village on Thursday night.
He was there to oversee the payment of allowances to the athletes. He increased the allowances earlier announced to the athletes.
“We will witness a new infusion of quality leadership when it comes to sports development…and that starts from now”, the minister remarked.
Continuing, he said: “I will be working with people at the ministry, the federations, our ambassadors – the veterans, and we will ensure that the welfare of the athletes comes first.
“We are committed to changing the narratives in welfare of athletes. I am going to champion the Athletes Sustenance Fund. It will be a revolving fund that will keep our athletes on stipends all year round.
“We are committed to changing the narratives in welfare of athletes.
“You don’t have to wait till time of championships before you get bonuses and allowances”, the minister promised.
He remarked that his administration would be a departure on previous ones as he would focus more on human capital development.
“I am committed to changing the narratives about the welfare of our athletes”, he stated further.
Dare congratulated the athletes and their coaches and urged them to focus more challenging Olympic Games holding next year.