*We want to dominate football this season
Honorable Bamaiyi Anangba is the Commissioner for Sports in Nasarawa State. He spoke with Olayinka Elebute of www.gongnews.net in his new office in Lafia, on the challenges he faces in turning around Nasarawa United FC of Lafia and what he plan to do to change the fortunes of the state in Sports.
What are your plans for Nasarawa United this season?
Thank you very much, we started the season in a very sober way but we will end the season very beautifully. We lost to our brothers Plateau United FC of Jos in a regional derby on the first day of the league. But as I’m talking to you I’ve spoken with the coaches and the management. I told them to let us look at the assessment of the results and way forward.
We’re supposed to come out with a good result. Nasarawa United is not just a club, it’s a club that should meet up demands any time. We are going to be up there this season. I’m already putting the documents together to ensure that issue of salaries for both Nasarawa United and Amazon FC will be treated for improved welfare.
We expected that they’re going to make us proud. We want to see Nasarawa United going to federation cup finals again, while we must also defend the trophy won by the ladies. The government is ever ready to sponsor all these and improve welfare of the team.
We are also looking at taking out sign on fees and pay the players well so the issues of sign-on fee will not be talked about but that the players will get good salary.
Every Commissioner have a history of falling in love with football but for you, what other sports do you think Nasarawa State can thrive in?
I want to disagree with the fact that every commissioner naturally falls in love with football. As I came in last year my ambition was to ensure that we develop every sports. I can tell you from February till date, we have sponsored different sports teams, like the hockey team that came second in Nigeria last year and represented the country, aside that, look at Judo, Teakwando, all martial arts.
Also North Central Basketball competition took place here in Nasarawa in January. We are also looking at using all these to improve the quality of sports generally in the state. We’re also planning to organise a competition amongst our tertiary institutions. We have about 13 tertiary institutions which are also to foster unity among the students and the schools.
Meanwhile, football has always been a big sport both internationally and locally. We’re also planning of giving our representatives some partnership. We also have our local government and we’re planning a Governors Cup among the youth, the money you spend on football is 10 times more than what you spend on individual athletes.
Any athletes that do Nasarawa State proud in any other sports we are going to employ them. Just like I told them when they were going to Ilorin for youth games. The athletes that won gold we’re working on rewarding them. Infact, I do that personally. I must leave a legacy.
So what would you want to be remembered for as Honourable commissioner in Nasarawa State?
As a legacy, I don’t blow my trumpet. I always insist that we follow due process. By the time I leave the office, people should be able to judge me on the kind of all round performance we have. So if my achievement is only development of grassroots sports I will say is a legacy. And that is the reason why we must put a deliberate structure on ground that will achieve this. We’ll come up with a sports academy.
That sports academy located in Akwanga. His Excellency has already given the order that all the infrastructural equipment there must be upgraded and maximum security provided. This will serve basically as the engine room. It’s is the only sports academy in the country so we must make it work for us to develop the talents we have in the state.