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Sports Minister Gives Account of Stewardship in Six Months



…Says You Can’t Score Yourself in an Examination

Joel Ajayi

Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare, has said he remains focused on his vision for the Ministry in spite of the challenges facing the Youth and Sports sector and the country at large.

He said while giving account of his stewardship in the last six months in an interview in Abuja.
“It would be totally wrong to score myself. You can’t score yourself in an examination. The score card should be done by relevant stakeholders who have been monitoring what we have done since assuming office.

“But by and large, we have tried to re invent the wheel of Youth and Sports Development, restore confidence in the sector. We have changed the wrong perception about the Youth and Sports Development Ministry,engage with critical stakeholders, the athletes and those that are genuinely interested in supporting us to actualize our vision. We have succeeded in convincing the athletes who are at the core of winning honour that we mean well and their welfare remains our central focus.We have re focused sports development by dwelling on the core issues that matter.”

The Minister while maintaining that athletes remain top priority added, “Without the athletes winning laurels, sports wil be meaningless. So we have focused on infrastructural development, the development and discovery of athletes and taking care of their welfare.We have also insisted on doing things right to change the echo system in Youth and Sports and most negative perception that we inherited has changed. We met alot of challenges but when look back in a year or two we believe alot would have changed for good.”

On the biggest challenges since assuming Office and he has been able to navigate around them, he said, “The Youth and Sports Development sector is not insulated from the challenges that characterise other Ministries and sectors of the society. We inherited alot of challenges like projects that were started and abandoned, those that were completely made to rot away, Youth unemployment and the sector that was completely neglected.
With all these problems, we had to devise strategic options of adressing the problems.

” We came up with the Adopt an Athlete Initiative and Adopt a Stadium. With this we have gone into partnership with committed individuals, Corporate bodies,State Governments, Government Agencies to support our athletes and address the infrastructural problems. These are problems that had always been and we had to take pro active steps to tackle them. This strategic move has achieved a lot with state governments like Edo, Delta, Anambra adopting athletes. Unlike in the past,money meant for athletes are paid directly into their account without anyone taking anything. This is to enable the athletes train well for the Olympics before it was cancelled Good enough, we ate constantly monitoring the athletes to know how they are faring.

“With the lockdown and postponement of all sporting event, we are keeping tabs on the athletes to ensure that they use the money well and also use private in door facilities to keep in shape.”

Speaking on infrastructure, the Minister said Stadiums like the MKO Abiola Stadium, National Stadiums in Lagos and Ibadan are being given a face lift by individuals, just as the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna has been given a new look courtesy of the Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasiru El Rufai.

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Alternative Medicine Can Bridge Unemployment, Naira/Dollar Gap – Professor Says



By David Maxwell

A university don who has taken a vibrant interest in phyto-medicine research, Professor Benjamin Amodu, says Nigeria can reduce unemployment as well as bridge the forex gap between the Naira and Dollar through Traditional, Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, TCAM.

He said this is very possible if both the government and the people join hands to project the vast potentials of the country to the foreign world.

Speaking to our reporter, he said: “My message. is that let us have a very huge hope in our herbs which God has endowed on us based on our location on the geography of the earth.
“This is a huge blessing God has given us and some of us have researched into them. It is just left for us to believe in them.

“So let us join hands with the government and move this country forward and get people all over the world to make Nigeria the destination for medical tourism as we reverse the incessant trips to India, China, Egypt and all the other destinations. “I can tell you categorically that TCAM is the best way to go. In fact’ if there is political will on the part of government, the Naira/dollar ratio will level up.

“The bulk of importation of drug products will fall and we will conserve our foreign exchange and channel it into other sectors.

“Government should even stand in the gap because there are a lot of things that can be done in this sector.

“Let us depend more on whatever we produce and forget about over-dependence on importation. When that happens, this huge youth unemployment ratio will be closed up as our subsistence farmers will go into extensive farming and production of the needed raw materials. And in so doing, you know they will employ many more hands to enable them to do this.

“You can imagine that the United States of America projected to make $30bn dollars in 2023 alone from alternative and complementary medicine,” Amodu said.

He then called on the Tinubu administration to build on what the previous administrator started and make Nigeria the hub for medical tourism.”

The huge government investment into this untapped multi-billion dollar industry however remains to be seen. Amodu is a 1980 graduate of Industrial Pharmacy from the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, and a professor of phytho-medicine from the Triune Biblical University, USA.

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