*Funding structure to improve with private sector
In his own assessment, Youth and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung has said, “Nigerian sports recorded significant achievements despite many hiccups in the outgoing year and I know that things will get better in 2017.
The repositioning of sports in 2017 will start with election of new folks with proven love and passion for the different sports to run the federations in April 2017 and I want to assure of government’s non-interference in the process.
For me, the unprecedented performance of the Nigeria’s Paralympic Team in Rio, the relaunch of Nigeria into the medals table at the Rio Olympics through the bronze won in football, our posting the best African record performances in table tennis and rowing at the same Olympics and the improvement in the international ranking of our basketball team following their good showing at the Olympics even though they didn’t win a medal are the hallmark of that year.
I want to praise the successes recorded by the Super Eagles in their effort to pick qualification ticket to Russia 2018 with the victories over Zambia and Algeria. The Super Falcons also reinforced Nigeria’s position as the powerhouse of female soccer in Africa. Don’t forget the great exploits of the Scrabble team.
I know there have been some ups and downs in 2016 sports score card but over all, there are many positives and a critical assessment of the nation’s performance in the outgoing year is already underway.
With prospect of improved funding both from the Federal Government and some private sector initiatives in 2017, Nigeria is poised to do better.