BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
A visiting scholar at the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana, Professor Oluwaseun Omotayo has called for the establishment of a sports commission in his native home, Ogun State in South West Nigeria.
The scholar recalled that an enabling legislation had been passed by the house of assembly and that the law was only awaiting the approval of the governor, Dapo Abiodun.
He called on the governor to immediately scrap the existing Ogun State Sports Council and sign the twin bills of the Ogun State Sports Commission and Ogun State Sports Development Trust Fund.
He further suggested an immediate inauguration of the two bodies for the up scaling of sustainable sports development in the state that is bordered largely by Lagos in the South.
Omotayo is of the opinion that the scrapping of the National Sports Commission (NSC) by the immediate past sports minister in Nigeria, Solomon Dalung was ill-advised.
The NSC which was originally established by Decree 34 of 1971 and amended by Decree 34 of 1971 had had its enabling laws repealed by Decree 7 of 1991.
It however resurfaced without any law law under the military administration of Gen. Sani Abacha in the mid 1990s.
The NSC was scrapped during the tenure of Solomon Dalung, an action in which Omotayo, in a message to the Sports Village Square, condemned as stunting the national sports development.
According to Omotayo, the scrapping of the NSC was a result of limited understanding of the benefits of managing Nigeria Sports under the National Sports Commission template and more significantly because it was not set up under an enabling legislation of the National Assembly.
“Instead of ensuring the passage of an enabling legislation he (Dalung) rather opted to scrap the NSC unfortunately on the counsel of accidental and or sycophantic pseudo sports administrators whose understanding of the workings, operationlization and benefits of an NSC is poor.
“Nigeria Sports is significantly bedeviled largely by most sports stakeholders poor understanding of ‘Sports for Development and Peace as it is subsumed in Sustainable Sports Development (SSD) goals and target objectives.
“This situation has made seeming improvements and steps effective only in the context of the accidental nature and understanding of the accidental sports administrators and are largely therefore unsustainable.”
According to Omotayo, Nigeria sports development can be sustainable with an enduring management model of the template of the NSC backed by the appropriate legislation of National Assembly.