The Federal Government has commended the Enugu State Government under the stewardship of His Excellency, Dr Peter Ndubusi Mbah, for its commitment towards promoting sports development through the innovative and comprehensive upgrade and rebranding of sporting facilities in the state.
The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, gave the commendation today in Enugu, the Enugu State Capital, shortly after the inspection tour of sporting 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, and 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.
Senator Owan Enoh stated further that his visit to the state was to enable him to have a one-on-one discussion with His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Dr Peter Ndubuisi Mbah on how they can partner together to unlock the economic potentials of sports and to further visit the Ministry's Zonal Office as well as inspect sporting facilities in the state so as to have first-hand knowledge of their current status in order to take definitive action on them.
The Minister who was led on the inspection tour of facilities by the Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Sports in the State, Lloyd Ekweremadu, noted that Enugu State deserves commendation from all sports-loving Nigerians, especially in their contributions to sports development.
He added that the state has a rich history with an international brand like the Rangers football club.
Senator Owan Enoh assured that the Ministry of Sports Development under his watch was ready to collaborate with the Enugu State Government to ensure that the sector wears a new face, a venture where interested businessmen and women can invest their money and make profits.
The vision of government at the Federal level, Senator Owan Enoh said, is to also see sports as a sector that can create jobs, alleviate poverty in society and contribute to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and not just a mere recreation.
“This further underscores the importance of our visit to the Zonal Office located in the State. We are charging our Zonal Coordinators to brace up and begin to work closely and assiduously with their state hosts and also ensure that sports activities are organised and well packaged right at the grassroots in order to attract private sector sponsorships”, he said.
Also speaking, the 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.
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 a safe and peaceful environment for Nigerians as well as boost the economy of our nation.
The Commissioner used the opportunity to appeal to the relevant stakeholders in the industry, corporate and private sector organisations as well as other sports-loving Nigerians to see and understand the new vision in sports and join hands with the Federal and Enugu State Governments in unlocking the economic potential of sports in Nigeria.