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We will give priority to Olympics, All Africa Games events, says Yakmut


New Director General of the National Sports Commission (NOC), Alhassan Yakmut, says the Commission would henceforth ensure that all the Olympic and All Africa Games’ sports would get enough assistance to compete favourably in international competitions.

Yakmut, who said the NSC under him would pursue a four-point roadmap, disclosed that the Commission has already started evaluating all the facilities in the country to ensure they played key roles in rebuilding the country’s falling sports sector.

He was in Lagos at the weekend to inspect the facilities at the National Stadium, which has been left comatose by successive administrations since the return of civilian rule in 1999.

According to the former national team volleyball captain, elite athletes and those events, where Nigeria has medal potential would get adequate attention to ensure they are in competitive form at all times.

He said, “I was in Lagos when Ese Brume first came on the scene at the D. K. Olukoya Championship. A talent like that should be programmed to be at the height of her game by now. Now, we will look at ways to help such talents develop properly.

“Recently, our elite athlete, Blessing Okagbare, complained of the neglect of the grassroots and someone like her cannot be dismissed because she knows what she is saying. We will look at ways to address the issues the raised because that is what would help us grow.”

Yakmut disclosed that he has a four-point roadmap, which include things that must be done in the first 100 days; tings to achieve within six months and one year; the long term, which is what must be done within the four years of my tenure; and the legacy of my tenure.”

He revealed that the 140-bed high performance centre in Abuja would be opened on Wednesday by Vice President, Namadi Sambo, adding that Category A athletes would move into it immediately, “but it would be finally opened for camping in June.”

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