KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Senator representing Kaduna Central in the Upper Chamber, Comrade Shehu Sani, has warned that governments at all levels must desist from appointing politicians to administered the sports ministry; saying it is the only way to give sports the desired attention.
He said if government could appoint a doctor as the minister of health, he sees no reason why the sports ministry could not be administered by a seasoned sports administrator.
He stated this when the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Kaduna state Chapter, on Monday honoured him with an Award of Excellence in recognition of his contributions and support for development of sports in Kaduna state and Nigeria.
Senator Sani said there is a need for a national conference on sports, so we could have a resolve on how to address the problems of sports once and for all.
“I will say that sports in Nigeria is treated more as a game rather than as a business. If we invest in sports certainly it will provide job opportunities for millions of our young men and women.
“We should see sports as a medium for job creation as much as a channel through which honour and glory could be attracted to Nigeria,” he said.
On budgets for sports in the country, Senator Sani, said it is gloomy; noting that if Nigeria expects a lots from sports it must budget more for sports.
“We have not invested in sports but we need gold from sports. It is what you sow that you reap. Nigeria will sow nothing in sports and will want to reap gold from sports. If we invest in sports we will reap more gold in national and international competitions.
“We should move towards a period where we can give a tax bricks to private fans who maintained and sustained a team or sports academy that is aim at grooming the young ones.
“We must as a people invest in sports if we want to have results. But for now as it is, we are only interested in the results without investments.
On rewards for our sports men and women who have worn the national jersey; the Senator said that government must devise ways of giving pension to players who wore the national jersey as it is very important.
“The Pension Commission Act must be amended to include giving pension to people who served this country.
“It is unfortunate that men and women who served Nigeria in international competitions have been left to die in penury and poverty.
“Footballers we so cherished when they were in the field and brought honour and glory to our country have been allowed to die in poverty,” he lamented.