By Goodluck Ikiebe
Nigeria’s Ministry of Sports and Youth Development has congratulated the former Minister, Mr Sunday Dare, for his conferment as Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON, by former President, Muhammadu Buhari on 28th May, 2023.
A statement by Director Press and Public Relations in the Ministry, Mohammed Manga, says this is in recognition of the various policy initiatives introduced in both Sports and Youth sectors as well as the work he carried out for the development of Sports in Nigeria and the African region by extension.
“The Management and Staff of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development wishes to felicitate and congratulate the former Minister for the honour”.
The statement reads, “Indeed, his four years of service to Nigeria as the Minister of Sports and Youth Development recorded tremendous achievements, especially in the sports industry, unequalled in recent times”
According to the statement, the Ministry unequivocally
affirm that the conferment of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) by the former administration is a testimony to Dare’s indelible mark of hard work and diligence, which led to the transformation of both the Sports and Youth sectors and areas that were almost forgotten, over the years.
It also wants to state clearly for record purposes, the various programmes, policies and initiatives his tenure as Minister put in place in the Ministry that impacted positively on the youth like DEEL (Digital Skills, Enterpreneurship, Employability and Leadership) through which Youth were trained on various skills like Cybersecurity, Web Development, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Digital Photography and Coding.
“Others, include securing the approval of the N75bn Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (P-YES), National Young Farmers Scheme (NYFS) as well as other supportive ventures aimed at empowering the youth of the country”, it added.
“In the field of sports, the former Minister also introduced various initiatives
leading to numerous podium performances by our athletes at global competitions.
Some of these include: the Adopt initiative, National Sports Industry Policy, the 10 Year Football Development Masterplan, the Talent Hunt Program, the return of the long and middle distance races, and cross country race in Nigeria after almost 40 years in the doldrums.
As a result of the enabling environment created by the past Administration, Dare was also able to embark on the rehabilitation of sporting facilities across the country and other efforts, thus brightening sports outlook in Nigeria.
“The Ministry wishes to state further that under Dare’s leadership, Nigeria posted its best ever Commonwealth Games performance in August 2022 and produced its first ever World Record holder and World champion (in athletics) in Tobi Amusan.
You would also recall that Nigeria had its best Olympic Games performance in 13 years with 2 Medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“It will be pertinent to mention here that in recognition of his stellar performances since assumption of office, the former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, bagged various awards including the Award of Excellence in Public Service, an award given to him by the former President, Muhammadu Buhari, the National Telegraph Most Innovative Minister Award, the Blueprint Sports Icon of the Year Award, Youth Award in the United States of America, African Illustrious Minister of the Year Award, the National Youth Council of Nigeria Leaders Role Model Award (NYCN) among many others.
“The Ministry notes that Dare’s desire and passion for Sports development across the country will forever stand the test of time.
Thus, the Management and Staff of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development once again felicitates with its former Minister on the Conferment of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) by the former President, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. It is, indeed, a well-deserved honour”, it explained.
“We are optimistic that the award will spur him into doing more for his fatherland anytime he is called upon to serve”, the statement concluded.