Nigerian athletes must have the best to be the best – Sports minister

THE minister of sports development, John Owan Enoh, has harped on the importance of functional sporting facilities and infrastructures in improving the performances of athletes.

He said his leadership will improve the lot of sportspersons as athletes need to have the best to be able to compete favourably.

The ICIR Tuesday published a story which highlighted infrastructures deficit and lack of grassroots development as part of the areas begging for help in the sporting industry.

At an inspection tour of the Moshood Abiola national stadium, Abuja, on Wednesday, to assess the state of facilities in the edifice, the minister emphasised the need to address infrastructural deficits in stadia in Nigeria in a bid to meet global standards.

“Facilities and infrastructures are a key component of sports, as they are variables that drive both elite performance and grassroots development,

“It is, therefore very important that we get it right. We must maintain the current infrastructures that we have and look towards making them better to match what we have across the world,” he said.

The minister, accompanied by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ismaila Abubakar, were led by the Director of Facilities and Stadium Management at the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, Alanamu Abolore to the main bowl of the stadium, the velodrome, facility building, athletes’ hostel, Federation and Elite Athletes Department (FEAD), power technical building, as well as other facilities in the edifice.

    The minister stated that the national stadium has the capacity to become one of the best multi-purpose stadium complexes in Africa.

    “Amidst the so much that I have seen here, the positives and the negatives, this stadium is a very definitive national monument. There is about nothing that you will find elsewhere that you cannot find here,” he said.

    “However, from 2003 till date, the facility has gone through a lot. The ministry under my leadership will do all that it can to get every part of the stadium functional, including the athletes’ hostel, because athletes must have the best to be the best,” he said.

    The minister promised to visit other facilities across the country to assess their state and take definitive actions on their development.

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