Our Expectations For Football Development Masterplan… Dare

By Our Reporter

 

Just a  little over 8 months ago, acting on the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari, we, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, set up this 10 Year Football Development Masterplan Committee to lay the foundation for the development of Nigeria’s number one sport, Football.

  1. We gave the Committee their terms of reference and a time frame of 12 weeks, approximately 3 months, to complete the task. Obviously we didn’t realise how enormous this assignment is. Clearly, there is now a better understanding of what it means and what it takes to plan and put structures in place for the future of the Nigerian youth and her football.
  2. We, as a Ministry, are also happy that we never compromised on the quality of the persons called upon to serve in this Committee. Our deliberate search for the top grade quality of minds that have worked hard to produce this document is now justified.
  3. Hearing the chairman of the Committee, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima reading through the Executive Summary of the report gave me tremendous joy. We all know what the challenges have been for our football and the practical steps outlined in that summary gives me hope for the future. I am not surprised at the high level of the intellectual content in their work.
  4. Before I go on to thank the members of the Committee, let me appreciate the father of the nation, President Muhammadu Buhari. A selfless leader genuinely interested in the development of, not just the game of football, but of the Nigerian youth as a whole. His statement that he wants to lay a foundation for football development in Nigeria that will outlive his administration led to the establishment of this Committee.
  5. I thank every member of this Committee for giving their best to this presidential assignment, their sacrifices have not been and will not be taken for granted. They are a part of history. They are a part of the unique group of persons that history will be kind to. People of integrity who will not be forgotten. We are sincerely grateful to you all.
  6. On behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari who commissioned this assignment, I hereby receive this report.
  7. I want to assure you that this report will be submitted to Mr President and its action plan followed through to the letter. This will not be one of those reports that will be allowed to gather dust in some office or book shelf without implementation. This will be different.
  8. Upon the receipt of this report, the next journey will be to deliver it to Mr President who will direct a white paper upon which the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development(FMYSD) and the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) will drive the implementation in phases.

I want to urge this Committee not to think that, with the submission of this report, their assignment is over. Far from it. In fact, together with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) and indeed other critical stakeholders, the task of ensuring a better future for Nigerian football is just beginning.

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