Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, has assured all sports’ stakeholders of a level playing ground place for the forthcoming federations polls to avoid the rancour that trailed the last exercise.
Speaking while defending the ministry’s 2017 budget proposal at the National Assembly yesterday in Abuja, Dalung revealed that a summit of federation presidents would soon be held to drive the sector and redirect energy toward grassroots sports.
He said, “The ministry will be neutral in the forthcoming federations’ election and there will be no federal government nominees. We insist that those with the interest of driving sports without total dependence on government’s funds should go and contest.
“We want to build strong and robust federations and reinvigorate them for better performance. That informed our basis for taking steps to reorganize the federations so that they can be more effective. We admit that we have had challenges with the federations over funding.
“Unless discipline is restored in the Federations, including prudence and effective management of resources, we will continue to have problems. Government alone is unable to fund sports so we need them to augment whatever they will receive from the ministry by raising sponsorship and partnerships with the private sector. If there is no credibility in the federations then the private sector will not invest. That is one of the problems of the federations’ administration.”
Dalung also stated the need to restore confidence in the forthcoming elections starting with an all-inclusive polls.
“We will ensure that there will be a free democratic election for leaders of the federations and that all stakeholders are given a level playing field in March,” he added.