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Ekeji clamours for return of National Sports Commission

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Former Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Patrick Ekeji, has called for the return of the Commission, which he described as panacea to sports development in the country.

The immediate past Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, had stamped out the office of the NSC, which experts have attributed to the abysmal performance of the country’s athletes in the last four years.

Speaking with The Guardian during the week, Ekeji suggested that the only way the country’s sports could return to its days of glory was for the Sports Commission to be reintroduced into the Sports Ministry with experts constituting the board.

“The history of sports in the country is still hanging, and my own opinion is that the correct structure for sports administration and management should be put in place. The strongest structure for the management of sports in the country is the return of the National Sports Commission.

“In the light of today’s knowledge and in the light of what sports could do for a people, if the commission is returned with terms of reference, the people that will constitute the board will partly be the best within the profession. And these people can operate under a political minister because the board knows where it is going because the chairman of the board and the minister will always sort themselves for the betterment of sports in the country,” he said.

Ekeji, a former International continues: “Just as you have the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), National Institute of Sports Commission (NIS), the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), that are under the Ministry of Sports and Development to function, so also the ministry needs the NSC to carry out its duty.

“You need a NSC under the ministry when certain decisions are to be taken, especially approvals that can only be done at the Federal Executive Council.

“So, if they have an NSC that is in charge of the management of sports, the job of the minister is to take such issues to the executive council because it is only the minister that can do so. And if there are grey areas that require inputs, the chairman of the board of NSC will help him out. This is how it is done, because currently, we have a sports industry that does not have a legal backing,” he said.


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