Connect with us

Sports Analysis

House Committee on Sports, NFF and Sports Ministry: A Partnership Nigeria Football Desperately Yearn




It is not often seen that the NFF, her supervisory body, the Sports Ministry and the House Committee on Sports are on the same page, and this has been a major setback in the growth of Nigeria Football over the years.

Nigeria as one of the world’s most naturally talented footballing countries has the capacity to be a leading light when it comes to football development.

But this has been a far cry because of perpetual internal wrangling among the various institutions responsible for the Country’s Football.

In fact, some persons feed on this very often for their own selfish agenda at the expense of genuine growth in the football ecosystem.

But there is always a time for something old to stop and something new to start to engineer a different result.

As a Country it is a new Government in Power expected to be at the helms for the next four years and for Nigeria to fully maximise all that is coming within the next, a cordial relationship is not negotiable between the NFF, the Sports Ministry and two Committees of Sports in the National Assembly.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by Ibrahim Gusau has lots of barriers to break to be able to satisfy the yearnings of an average football fan on the street.

Top on the list of those barriers are lack of adequate funding and inadequate Sponsorship.

These two barriers are very key to anything the NFF wants to achieve and the Football House has struggled to live up to expectations over the years because of this.

Hence the need for a good partnership to exist amongst the football institutions.

As it is normal in every family there will be times when there will be issues but the ability to iron them out amicably without flexing ego is what will make the difference.

All the various Sporting institutions have their well-stated functions without ambiguity and who says they all cannot carry out these roles without unnecessary friction and Media war.

The Sports Ministry can perform its supervisory role on the NFF and still be a good partner, the same way the National Assembly through both the House Committee on Sports and Senate Committee on Sports can adequately undertake its oversight functions on both the Ministry and the NFF without cold war.

The Chairman House Committee on Sports, Honourable Ekene Adams who is an astute football administrator himself has stated unequivocally that he is determined to partner with both the NFF and the Sports Ministry to revamp Nigeria Football.

And this has been evident so far with its recent activities where it organised a peace parley with the NFF to resolve some of its lingering crises.

The House Committee on Sports has also shown its readiness to partner with the Sports Ministry and the Chairman recently showed this by being one of the first to congratulate the new Sports Minister Senator John Enoh.

*Michael Obasi is one of the media aides to the Chairman, the House Committee on Sports

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports Analysis

The Need for Sports Diplomacy under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu




By Sadiq A. Abdullahi

As Senator John Owan Enoh, the 36th sports minister, under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, begins his four years tenure in the newly created Federal Ministry of Sports Development, he would need to use sports diplomacy to resolve regional conflict and attract foreign investment as entrenched in the National Sports Industry Policy.

On July 28, 2023, the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) under the leadership of Director-General (Prof) Eghosa Osaghae, hosted the 1976 Olympians and the champions of 1980 African Cup of Nations in an event that was sponsored by Dr. Allen Onyema, the Chairman of Air Peace tagged “The NIIA’s “Sports Diplomacy Wall of Fame.” One of NIIA’s objectives is to “provide and maintain means of information upon international questions and promote the study and investigation of international questions by means of conferences, lectures, and discussions, and by the preparation and publication of books, records, as may be necessary to develop a body of knowledge on world affairs.”

Sports diplomacy (SD) is an emerging concept in foreign policy and in international relations. SD transcends tribal, ethnic, language, religion, pollical, economic, class and elitism. SD is often used as the instrument of choice by nations to promote cooperation, peaceful co-existence, diplomatic dialogue, and even to promote the virtues of democracy.

In 1976, the Federal Government of Nigeria joined 27 African countries boycotted the 1976 Montreal Olympics Games in support of the 1976 Soweto, South Africa massacre where many lives were lost. Sixty-two Olympians from Nigeria were denied the opportunity to compete among the best in thwe world at the Montreal Olympics in Canada. General Olusegun Obasanjo was the Head of the State then, and he ordered that the Olympians be returned home immediately after they had spent about 10 days at the Games Village. But the story was not the same for the Green Eagles, the champions of the 1980 African Cup of Nations (AFCON). Both events were poles apart but had lasting significant diplomatic effect.

In the 1952, Nigeria presented its first team at the Helsinki Olympics in Finland. From that moment on informal sports diplomacy has been part of Nigeria’s indirect foreign policy engagement, making it a prominent phenomenon that could no longer be ignored in the socio-political and economic life of the nation. The domination of the sporting world by the then USSR (now Russia and several other smaller countries) and her allies coupled with their unique organizational structure of sports, influenced the Federal Government of Nigeria to directly involve herself in the control, regulation, organization, and promotion of sports, which now needs to be extended to ECOWAS as the region contemplates using military invasion of one of its member states.

A renewed hope for sports stakeholders requires that a plan for effective sport for unity and peace programs should by initiated by Senator Enoh to address conflicts in the region and build peace using sport at the socio-political and individual levers Sports has become an instrument for building relations with countries and for gaining soft power with the aim of promoting the country’s national agenda among the comity of nations. Countries utilize international sport to promote peace, advance their economic interests and build political power and influence. As a domestic policy tool, sports can be used to enhance social order, combat some forms of social exclusion, and prevent crime by promoting projects that target deprived areas.

A new frontier in sports diplomacy offers new possibilities for renewed hope for ECOWAS and for Nigeria in particular if the political and business of sports can harnessed for youth and sustainable development. The Sports Diplomacy curriculum has the pedagogy to provide a new national orientation, a new vision of international relations, regional, continental, and global understanding. The curriculum will reflect the vision of a democratic, pluralistic, and diverse society. Regional and global challenges such as poverty, globalization, population growth, environmental degradation, human rights, and national and global terrorism could be reduced, and many youths are redirected to rethink sports in education and nations resolving conflicts using sports and diplomacy.

Continue Reading