Edo Commissioner advocates more youth participation in sports

Igbogi-Green Imelda, Benin


The Edo State Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Special Duties, Mr. Demian Lawani has advised youths to participate more in various sporting activities.

The Commissioner made the call in an interview with Voice of Nigeria in his office in Benin, the Edo State capital, South-South, Nigeria.

He explained that there are other sporting activities apart from football that the youths will benefit from,‘’ the youths that are good in other sporting activities apart from football need to be encouraged, so that they can be taken off the street’’.

‘’These sporting activities empowers the youths to gain access and enjoy from government policies as it affect them. The youths of this state are very active especially when it comes to sport and that is why the Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki with his wise wisdom, decided and ensured that lots of finance should be put into the ministry to discover other areas of sporting activities apart from football’,’ he added.

The Commissioner said that the Ministry of Youths, Sports and Special Duties has started programmes that will educate and enlighten the youths of various sporting activities.

Mr. Demian Lawani also explained that the ministry usually handpicks talented youths not only from the State Capital but from across the 18 local government areas of the state to participate in events.

“Recently the ministry hosted the Edo State sports festival where all the 18 local government areas participated, to ensure that they discover new talents in athletic, swimming, javelin, basketball and long tennis among others,’’ he said.

The Commissioner added that the National sport festival which was meant to take place in the state on the 22nd of March to 2nd April 2020, and was postponed because of Covid-19 will soon take place.

“During the festival; the ministry will use the opportunity to showcase most of the local talents in the state,” he explained.

The commissioner went further to encourage Edo youths to be fully involved in entrepreneurial activities apart from sporting activities so that they can enhance their own businesses, ‘’ our youths should be fully involve in participating in private driving entrepreneur apart from sports. We have been able to train over 150 000 youths and have given them starter packs to start a living’’.

He advised the youths of Edo State to be contented with the little they have and not to travel aboard to seek for greener pasture but to develop their businesses in Nigeria by starting from the scratch to enable them manage their resource and to grow in life.

Mr. Demian Lawani noted that challenges he faces as commissioner for Youths and Special Duties in Edo State is that “the youths don’t have the mind set of starting their businesses small and growing big so there is need to for we to orient our youths to begin to buy into the ideas of starting small and growing big’’

He explained that “the mission of the ministry is to ensure that there is orientation about sporting activities generally to enable many youths as possible that are good in so many sporting activities such as football and apart from football, there are other sporting activities that are not yet publicized which also have a way of giving the youth’s serious empowerment such as basketball, volley ball, table tennis and long tennis among others’’.

 ‘’Our focus is to ensure that the orientation is in planted in our youths and to make them know that apart from football there are other sporting activities that can bring money apart from football,” the Commissioner added.