Nigeria can dominate sports globally – minister

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The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung says the country has the capacity to be among the best in the world in all spheres of human endeavour.

Dalung, who said this at the National Council on Sports meeting in Kaduna, noted that this had seen the country excel in various international sporting competitions.

All we need is to plan properly and diligently implement our programmes. We have seen from the little efforts being put in place the level of results we have continued to achieve in the various sports internationally. Today, we can proudly say that we have credible men and women at the helm of the Sporting Federations in Nigeria,” he said.

The results of their heading these Sporting Federations have been the visible improvements in the performances of our athletes culminating in the overall increase in medals that have been garnered from several federations. These include those federations that had been virtually neglected over the years. A very striking example is the Nigeria Hockey Federation, which last podium performance at continental/international tournaments was recorded 14 years ago during the African Games (COJA) which Nigeria hosted.’’

According to the minister, with commitment, new ideas and drive of the new Board of the Federations, our coaches are equipped with the kind of training that can required for our athletes to excel.

The coaches took our athletes to Ismailia, Egypt and won Bronze Medal at the 2017 Hockey Senior Africa Cup of Nations,’’ he added.

The minister said that in addition, five of the country’s National Coaches had been certified as Grade 3 Coaches by the International Hockey Federation.

According to Dalung, this is the highest certification any Nigerian Hockey Coach has attained.

He listed other achievements of the Federation worthy of note to include certification of two (02) Nigerians as International Hockey Umpires, election of Prof. Ediga Agbo as an Executive Member of the African Hockey Federation.

The minister said Samuel Fagunwa became the first Nigerian to officiate at the World League Series, among other achievements.

He said that the National Council on Sports was the highest policy making body in Nigeria and must continue to provide the direction for sports development.