Sports stakeholders have charged the newly the appointed minster of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalong to hit the ground running as the time left for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is drastically reduced.
With barely ten months to the games, the stakeholders are of the believe that preparations have to commence in earnest is a bid to avert the disaster recorded during the London 2012 Olympic Games where Team Nigeria failed to win a single medal.
Only last week, the Director General of the National Sports Commission, NSC Alhassan Yakmut told Nigerian Pilot Saturday Sports that the commission is already jittery following the late preparation and lack of funds.
Yakmut gathered all the sports federations’ chairmen and top egg heads in the commission to a round table meeting on preparation as well as map out strategies for medal haul during the games.
It is against this background that Tony Ezimaker, a sports journalist said that the new minister should urgently meet with the who is who in sports to proffer the way forward as Nigeria cannot afford another disaster in Brazil.
“Preparations for the Olympic is already late and the new minister has to speed it up. Nigeria is lagging behind and the problem of funds is there and he has to ensure that the presidency release funds immediately.”
Apart from reviving the National Youth Games, Tony Ezimakor wants the minister to carry out an in-depth inquiry on how the NSC spent the funds for the Commonwealth Games, Youth Olympic and All African Games where it was alleged that the Federal Government budgeted N4 billion, yet, contractors are still owed and Team Nigeria participated in these games without kits.
For Richard Jideaka, ‘’the minister has to concentrate on the Olympic games by way of preparation and ensure good performance. He should know that Nigerians do not believe in failure as the Olympic will make or mar his long cherished reputation.’’
Besides, Jideaka wants the new minister to ensure that the NFF and NSC bill at the National Assembly is passed to give legal backing to these vital institutions.
“Dalong should urgently organize stakeholders meeting in view of the change being propagated so as to have a blue print for sports in Nigeria. We have a lot of blue printed, he should dust them, let the stakeholders harmonise them and sent it the National Assembly for approval. Without a blue print for Nigerians Sports, the situation will remain as it is,’’ he said.