The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, on Tuesday restated the Federal Government’s commitment to the development of Para sports in the country.
Dalung made the assertion in Lagos at the opening of the Second Agitos World Para Powerlifting and Para Athletics seminar.
The seminar was organised by the International Paralympics Committee in conjunction with the Nigeria Para-Powerlifting and Para-Athletics Federations.
The minister, who was represented by Yemi Usikaye, a Deputy Director in the ministry, said that para sports had brought international glory to the country and should be sustained.
Dalung commended the world body for its contribution toward the development and promotion of para sports in the country and Africa at large through its developmental programmes.
“We are happy that this programme is holding in Nigeria for the second time.
The Nigerian government appreciates the effort of the world body in ensuring that coaches and athletes in Africa are upgraded in para sports rules and regulations.
The government is very much interested in the development of sports generally, especially para sports.
The ministry will continue to give the para athletes all the necessary support they need,’’ he said.
Dalung, however, called on the private sector to support the government in its effort to further develop para-sports.
The minister urged the participants to utilise what they learnt from the seminar to improve on their knowledge of the sports.
Richardson Dillon, the Development Coordinator of World Para Powerlifting, said the aim of the seminar was to develop and grow para sports in Africa.
Dillon said the seminar would afford participants from the region the opportunity to learn and update their knowledge on the rules and regulations guiding the sports.
“We are here to develop the capacity of technical officials in the region by helping them to get the needed knowledge to enable them to participate and officiate in international championships.
“The seminar is sponsored by Agitos which is the development arm of the International Paralympics Committee; this is to ensure that the region is at par with the rest of the world,’’ he added.
The 30 participants from Kenya and Algeria and Nigeria are taking part in the three-day seminar which will end on June 8.
NAN/ Jibril .O