Ex-Lawmaker calls for grassroots sports development in Nigeria

Lekan Sowande, Abuja


A Sports administrator, Hon. Bityong Yakubu Nkom says he will continue to use his philanthropic gesture to hunt for talents that abound across Nigeria.
Speaking with Voice of Nigeria in Abuja, Hon. Nkom said Nigeria has a lot of talents but those talents do not have an opportunity to expose themselves.
A former Member, Kaduna State House of Assembly said those hidden younger ones need a platform to launch themselves to limelight.
“We have more than enough talents in this country. All they need is the platform, sponsorship, programmes that will bring out the best in them. Each time I watch the EPL or the La Liga or Seria A, I use to say my players can play like these ones. We have more than enough stars in football and other sports. We have had Okocha that innovated new dribbling skills” he said.
Hon. Bityong, who is the proprietor of Bityong Cornerstone Football Club, an amateur club-side, based in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria also advised government to provide enabling environment for club owners in Nigeria to thrive.
“I went to Cairo and I discovered that virtually every event has a stadium. We are not there yet in Nigeria. I believe up to this moment, it is the responsibility of government to provide an enabling environment by constructing facilities and may be leasing them out for maintenance”.
His club, Bityong Cornerstone Football Club of Kaura Local Government, a Nationwide Amateur League One side, beat Standard FC of Zaria 2-1 in the final of the 2018 Aiteo Federation Cup, Kaduna State Chapter to lift the trophy.
The Club side was recently in Abuja to play a friendly match with the Nigerian national Under-17 side, the Golden Eaglets, who are preparing for the 2019 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Hon. Nkom, who formerly represented Kaura Constituency in the Kaduna State House of Assembly, said the club he formed in April 6, 2017 has achieved a lot in less than three years.
“In the 2years of our existence as a club, in the very first year, we were able to win the Kaduna State Challenge Cup. Secondly, we have been able to enrol and play two seasons so far in the Nationwide Amateur League One, beside that, we have won quite a number of competitions. Our Under-17 won the seven-aside that was sponsored by Bayern Munich in Germany and one of our boys, a midfielder, Gideon Ibrahim was selected to be on the Team Nigeria that represented Nigeria in Germany for the World seven-aside. Our senior team won the World five-aside in Kaduna. We just won the under-16 and under-17 trophies, just three weeks ago”.
The former Kaduna State lawmaker also speaks on why he formed the Bityong Cornerstone Football Club of Kaura.
“The major purpose of forming this club, the motivation is in two ways, for a very long time, my people in Southern part of Kaduna State have been neglected for a very long time. They need a platform for them to ply trade in football, so that World will see them. First is to give a platform to the youth and that platform is to expose them, because we have a lot of talents. So the major aim is to provide a platform for these players to be notice and from there may be play for the national teams and international clubs”.
Hon. Nkom also urged the newly appointed Nigerian Youth and Sports Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare to operate an open door police, where he could listen to genuine advice from everybody, especially the stakeholders in the field.



Jibril .O