By Goodluck Ikiebe
In line with the World
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines, the Federal Government, has assured of athletes’ clean participation in all competitions both within and across the globe.
The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, gave the assurance on Thursday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, when he met with the members of the Nigerian Olympic and Anti-Doping Committee.
He stated that the meeting aims at providing him with first hand information about the challenges bedevilling the Committee as regards
to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines’ compliance with a view to systematically addressing them for the development of the sector
Senator Owan Enoh stated further that the interaction was one of the series of strategies he is taking to holistically ensure clean participation of Team Nigeria in all international and local competitions in line with WADA global guidelines.
He explained that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is very passionate about Sports development in the country, not only to serve as a recreation but more importantly, to ensure inclusiveness, security, poverty alleviation as well as job creation through Sports.
According to him, “this is why the President created the Ministry of Sports Development and appointed me to saddle its affairs so as to ensure the realisation of the administration’s policy objective”.
The Minister informed that he will emplore all necessary steps to ensure correctional measures are taken to meet up with the timeliness of WADA rules and regulations, as well as other critical corrective actions that will address extended non conformity and general important issues to avoid the country’s lack of adherence being questioned.
While calling on the Committee to draw up programmes that will support government towards domesticating the United Nations Convention into law and ensuring that other requirements needed for adequate compliance with Anti Doping are met for the cleanliness of our athletes during championships, Senator Owan Enoh reminded them to continue to support the efforts of the present administration in its bid to develop the sector for economic growth especially, considering the fact that they are key stakeholders in the industry.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of Anti-Doping Committee, Professor Ken Anugweje, stated that the engagement was conveyed to provide for better opportunity to acquaint the Minister with the challenges bedeviling the Agency which hinder its efficiency such as lack of training of personnel, insufficient manpower as well as inadequate funding with á view to finding lasting solutions to them.
He applauded the wisdom of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for creating a Ministry of Sports Development and appointing a colossus administrator to saddle its affairs.
Professor Anugweje assured that the Committee will support the efforts of the Federal Government in ensuring clean participation of her athletes in all her competitions in line with the WADA guidelines.
While commending the Honourable Minister for the efforts he is making to reposition the sector, the President, Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC), Engr Habu Gumel, reminded him that Nigeria is yet to establish WADA Act of Parliament into law.
He therefore appealed to the Minister to use his good offices to ensure that the bill is passed into law.