By Goodluck Ikiebe
In line with his avowed determination towards ensuring the development of sports from the grassroots, the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has visited the Headquarters of the South East Zonal Office of the Ministry to ascertain its level of preparedness for the promotion of sporting activities in the Zone
During the visit in Enugu, the Minister informed that the Ministry under his watch will utilize
the Zonal Offices across the country with a view to decentralising Sports so as to make room for easy discovery of talents, monitoring as well as grooming for the purpose of moving them to the elite stage
Earlier on a courtesy call on the Governor of Enugu State, Dr Peter Ndubusi Mbah, Senator Owan Enoh, also inspected facilities in the State in the company of the Honourable
Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Lloyd Ekweremadu and some Management Staff of his Ministry, commended the Enugu State Government under his stewardship for its commitment to promoting sports through the innovative and comprehensive upgrade and rebranding of facilities in the State.
He stated that the Federal Government was impressed with the commitment of the State Government, especially in the areas of grassroots sports, talent identification,
infrastructure upgrade as well as in its vision for Sports as a profitable business venture because it tallies with the Federal Government’s vision for the sector.
The Minister informed that he was in the State to visit the Heaquarters of the South East Zonal Office, inspect its sporting facilities as well as have a one-on-one discussion with His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Dr Peter Ndubuisi Mbah on how to unlock the economic potentials of sports.
He added that the visit would also avail him the opportunity of having a first-hand knowledge of Enugu State’s current status in the Sports echo system in order to take definitive action on them.
The Minister noted that Enugu State deserves commendation from all sports loving Nigerians, especially in their
contributions to sports development, adding that
the State has a rich history with an international brand like the Rangers football club.
While expressing the Ministry’s desire to collaborate with Enugu State Government to ensure that the sector wears a new face where interested businessmen and women can invest their money and make profits, Senator Owan Enoh added that the vision of government at the Federal level is to also see sports as a sector that can create jobs, alleviate poverty in the society and contribute to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
*This further underscores the importance of our visit to the Zonal Office Headquarters located in the State. We are charging our Zonal Coordinators to brace up and begin to work closely and assiduously with their State host and also ensure that sports activities are organised and well packaged right at the grassroots in order to attract private sector sponsorships* he explained.
Speaking earlier, the Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Sports in the State, Lloyd Ekweremadu commended the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration for endorsing the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) approved by the immediate past administration which classified Sports as a business and not just a mere recreation, a vision he said, is in line with the focus of the Governor Mbah-led administration.
Mr Ekweremadu observed that Sports is a critical business sector that if well thought out and properly harnessed, can translate the passion and energies in our youth, provide jobs for them, increase our GDP and enable for a safe and peaceful environment for Nigerians as well as boost the economy of our nation.
In her remarks, the Zonal Coordinator, South East Zone, Ayi Roseline Chidiebere assured the Minister that the Zone will work assiduously towards the successful realisation of the policy objectives of the present administration.
She expressed optimism that with Senator Owan Enoh leading the new Ministry of Sports Development, Nigeria is sure to witness a systemic transformation of the sports industry in line with global realities.
The inspection tour by the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh covered, the South East Zonal Headquarters of the Ministry, indoor sports hall, hostels under construction, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Rangers International Stadium, Rangers Administration offices as well as their football training field.
The South East Zonal Headquarters comprises Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi, Anambra and Imo States.