A Stakeholder in sports has appealed to authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA for early release of funds for the athletes that will represent the FCT at the forthcoming 2020 National Sports Festival, NSF in Edo, Benin city.
Tolulope Oguntimehin, a sports journalist and Vice Chairman, Sports Writers Association, SWAN, FCT chapter made the call in an interview on Monday.
He decried the unpleasant experiences Team FCT has experienced in past festivals including the 2018 edition as well as the just recently concluded National Youth Games in Ilorin.
Mr. Oguntimehin, therefore, called on the FCTA authorities to commence preparations ahead of time so as to avoid the ugly experience of 2018.
According to him, early preparation remains one of the important tools to improve on the performance of the Team FCT at the National event next year.
“We do not want what happened in the 2018 festival to repeat in 2020 in Edo State. I therefore appeal to the FCTA, FCT Social Development, and FCT Sports Council to commence immediate preparation and release of funds for athletes to raise the name of FCT high in Edo come to 2020 NSF.
“I am calling on FCTA to please release the fund for early and better preparation. We don’t want the experience of 2018 where athletes were left with no option than to protest before their allowances were paid them,
“In 2018, there were series of unpleasant stories regarding the welfare of Team FCT athletes as many resorted to carrying placards in protest of nonpayment of camp allowances.
“We do not want these experiences anymore. Sports should be given priority attention and necessary funds released on time for effective camping, preparations, and performance. FCT has all it takes to challenge Delta, Lagos, Rivers and other big states for the best sporting state in the country.
“I appealing to FCTA under the leadership of Malam Musa Bello for early and prompt release of funds that will enable athletes in FCT to start preparation as soon as possible,” he said.
It could be recalled that late preparation for the 19th edition of the NSF by Team FCT was a cog in the wheel of athletes’ performance at the 2018 edition held at National Stadium, Abuja.
Team FCT occupied 7th position at the last edition in Abuja with 21 Gold, 9 Silver, 24 Bronze.
The National Sports Festival was evolved to foster unity and help unearth new talents in the country. Described as Nigeria’s Olympics, it has produced prominent athletes for the country who had gone on to win continental and global medals for the country.
The festival, however, went into hiatus from 2012 but the intervention of the former minister of youth and sports, Solomon Dalung, who, despite daunting challenges, restored the festival in 2018.
Niger Delta Youth Council Facilitates with Nigerians on the Occasion of World Youth Day
…reflects on the state of the nation
…calls for youth friendly policies
The Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC), a pressure group devoted to youth empowerment and development in the Niger Delta has facilitated with the federal government and Nigerian youths as the world marks International Youth Day, a day set aside to celebrate youths all over the world and reflect on the challenges they face and ways to surmount them.
In a press release made available to journalists in Abuja by the National Coordinator, Engr. Jator Abido, the group expressed optimism that this year’s World Youth Day will avail Nigerian youths and government and avenue to brainstorm and find lasting solutions bedeviling the Nigerian youth especially in the area of unemployment and perennial insecurity that has hindered economic activities in many parts of the country.
“Today is an important date sets aside to celebrate International Youth Day. The importance of this annual celebration according to the United Nation (UN) is to among other things raise voices against any injustice or discrimination and deprivation around the globe against the youth. We as a pressure group want to use this opportunity to call attention to the alarming rate of unemployment which has risen to 35% in the third quarter of 2022 as well as insecurity which has brought to a halt economic activities in most parts of the country. It is our hope that government will act fast to end insecurity and reverse the ugly trend of unemployment in the country”, the statement noted.
The lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the group noted has far reaching implications on the future of Nigerian youths and if nothing is done about it, will endanger the mental and social capacity of youth, predisposing them to social crimes and agents of destabilization in the forth coming general elections
“The implication of this unwarranted strike is that for the past six months and counting, Nigerian youths have been idling away at home and the federal government has not considered the damage such failures portend. Not just that future leaders of Nigeria are idle but an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Criminal elements within the ruling class will quickly recruit and turn them to agents of destruction and crime as the 2023 general elections draw near. This must not be allowed to happen. The federal government must act fast to reverse this ticking time bomb from exploding” the statement urged.
The CSO equally charged the federal government to come out with policies that will encourage the participation of Nigerian youths in the downstream oil sector especially by actively using local artisans in line with local content policy of the federal government insisting that Nigerian youths especially those in the Niger Delta region have what it takes to actively transform the oil sector and end the sad phenomenon of exporting crude and importing refined products which is almost crumbling the economy.
“We are once again calling on the federal government on this occasion of International Youth Day to as a matter of national importance formulate policies which will make the local content law a more practical reality. Our youths are well skilled in oil exploration and even refining. Granting licenses to local artisans and modifying their technology will end the uneconomical policy of importing refined petroleum products at exorbitant rates at the expense of the naira. Such steps will also put an end to youth restiveness in the country and stimulate economic growth”, the statement added.
On the need to inaugurate the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) Board, the CSO noted, it is long overdue and the federal government must use this occasion of the International Youth Day to respond to the yearnings of youths in the Niger Delta who are the first beneficiaries and sufferers of both good and bad policy choices in the region, arguing that, NDDC can not continue to run without a substantive Board.
“Mr. President Sir, we are calling on you to use your good office and cause the inauguration of the NDDC Board which was duly constituted but has since not being inaugurated because of the activities of saboteurs. This is not only unconstitutional but a slap on the faces of law abiding Niger Deltans who are looking forward to development massive in the region. Without a Board, corruption is rife in the Commission and the people who are supposed to be served are suffering because of the greed of a few politicians. If nothing is done to bring an end to this impunity, we’ll have no choice but to take up arms and fight for our rights”, the statement concluded.
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