By Goodluck Ikiebe
Nigeria’s Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has inaugurated the newly elected Board Members of the Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation with a view to creating more opportunities for youth with disabilities to excel in the field of sports.
Dare, who inaugurated the Board on Monday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, stated that the constitution of the Board is also part of efforts aimed at actualizing the mandate of the recently established National Sports Festival and Para-sports Department (NSF & PS) by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration.
“And to provide room for youth with disabilities to also showcase their sporting talents to the world”
Represented by the Director, Federations and Elites Athletes Department (FEAD) of the Ministry, Dr Simon Ehbojiaye, the Minister said that para-sports is one of the games that has brought Nigeria global recognition in the field of sports through their podium performances at various international competitions.
Dare restated Federal Government’s commitment to reinvigorating the sports sector in line with the progressive agenda of engaging and empowering the teeming Nigerian youth, especially those with disabilities so as to enhance wealth creation and self reliance.
“It should be placed on record that the determination to constitute a new Board for Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation shows the commitment of the Federal Government to reinvigorating the sports sector in line with the progressive agenda of engaging and empowering the teeming Nigerian youth for wealth creation”, he added.
The Sports Minister stated further that “since the inception of the present Administration, there has been a paradigm shift in the management of Sports and it has remained a veritable tool for National cohesion, peace, progress and National diplomacy, both in Nigeria and all over the world”
He therefore called on the newly elected Board Members to avail themselves with the Rules guiding the operations of the Federation.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, urged the new Board Members to work as a team in order to enjoy commendable successes for the Federation.
Represented by the Acting Director, National Sports Festival and Para-sports Department (NSF & PS), Mrs.Tecla Opara, the Permanent Secretary assured that the Ministry will continue to create an enabling environment for the implementation of government policies, programmes and initiatives in the country especially as it relates to Sports and Youth.
Responding, the President, Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation, Mr. Oluseyi Johnson, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to sports development,
and Para-sports in particular.
He thanked the Honourable Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, Permanent Secretary Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar as well as the Top Management of the Mnistry for the opportunity given to them to serve.
Mr Johnson assured that the Board will work assiduously to ensure the country records more podium appearances in all competitions.
Other members of the Board inaugurated are: Prof. Olubayo Faturegun, Iyedirin Felix, Feluma Venco, Lawani Sani Ado, Ibe Ike, Keshinro Adebayo, Para Eloghebe, Akinde Tony, Dr Collins Aribamikan, and Popoola Babatunde.