Sports Minister Receives Report On National Stadium

A file photo of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare.

 

The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare has received a comprehensive audit report of the occupied facilities at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

The 13-man ministerial taskforce committee inaugurated by the Minister on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, kept to the terms of reference and has concluded the assignment and submitted their findings.

The Chairman of the Taskforce and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Gabriel Aduda alongside other members after a thorough and detailed finding submitted its report to the Minister in Abuja.

The Minister while receiving the report appreciated the commitment and timely delivery, stating that he will kick-start the full implementation of the restructuring of the stadium to the world-class standard which will bring back its earlier glory and pride of place.

He added, ”It will bring joy and satisfaction to all our Nigerians and the entire globe.”

Mr Dare also commended the political will and committed interest of President Muhammadu Buhari to restore these stadia across the nation to their earlier glories and to meet FIFA standard which will qualify Nigeria for international tournament.

COVID-19: Sports Must Consider Reopening With Minimal Risks – Sunday Dare

Sunday-Dare
File: Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare.

 

The Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, has said the sporting sector must map out ways to reopen with minimal exposure to COVID-19. 

Mr. Dare said this on Thursday in a series of tweets on his official handle, adding that aside from keeping citizens healthy, finding out the safest ways to restarting sporting activities is crucial.

“I acknowledge the difficult era we are in now,” he said. “The Sports industry will continue to face a difficult time in the short to medium term. Even as we prepare for the fall outs.”

READ ALSO: Will Restarting Of Premier League Without Fans Be Worth The Wait?

According to him, “the biggest challenge apart from keeping our citizens healthy and safe, the sports world must consider how we can open up our sector safely and with minimal risk exposure.

“The prevalence of contact in many of our competitive sports & the impact of audiences must engage our minds.”

He noted that just as the National Sports Festival was called off even before the 2020 Olympics followed suit, stakeholders in the nation’s sports “must now apply our minds to how we can bounce back after COVID.”

The Minister said that while sports is a major contributor to the economy, sponsorship will dwindle, stressing that social distancing will make it hard for spectators to attend sporting events.

“Our athletes are the actors and we must factor their well-being and sports readiness into our plans,” the minister explained.

“The public are the ultimate consumers of the content athletes orchestrate.They sustain sports and their well-being & participation are critical to the sustenance of the sports industry.”

COVID-19: Sports Minister Sunday Dare To Provide Relief Materials To Oyo Residents

sunday dare
File: Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare.

 

The Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, has promised to provide relief materials to residents of Oyo State as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

Mr. Sunday Dare made the disclosure in a tweet on his official handle, Monday, where he noted that several individuals, agencies and organizations are doing their part to curb and cushion the effect of the pandemic.

Although he did not disclose further details about the relief materials, he said he will send them in through the Support Oyo Campaign. 

READ ALSO: COVID-19: NMA Rejects FG’s Decision To Invite Chinese Doctors

“Individuals, NGOs, Churches and Organizations are supporting the efforts of govt at both state and federal levels to contain COVID-19 and also provide relief,” he tweeted.

“Multiple Sources. Through Support Oyo Campaign I am mobilizing my resources & friends to provide relief for Oyo citizens.”

On Sunday, the governor of Oyo State (where Mr. Dare hails from), Seyi Makinde, tested negative for the coronavirus.

This came six days after the governor tested positive for the COVID-19 and was in self-isolation.

The governor had on March 30th, announced via social media that he had tested positive for the virus, stating that though he is asymptomatic, he will continue to self-isolate.

However, in a statement via his official Twitter handle, Governor Makinde in the late hours of April 5th, announced that he had received his second negative test result for COVID-19.

He thanked everyone who had prayed and supported him within the course of his isolation, with a special appreciation of Professor Temitope Alonge who stood in for him as head of Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force.

Kenya’s Ex-Sports Minister Wario Charged Over Olympic Corruption

Kenya’s Ambassador to Austria and former Sports minister Hassan Wario (C) sits the dock at the Mililani Court on October 19, 2018 after he was charged with corruption in the Rio Olympics and abuse of office. SIMON MAINA / AFP

 

Former Kenyan sports minister Hassan Wario and two other officials were on Friday formally charged with corruption relating to the 2016 Rio Olympics on Friday.

Wario pleaded not guilty to six charges levelled against him of abuse of office and was released on a one million shilling ($10,000, 8,600 euros) bond.

However, Kipchoge Keino, a two-time Olympic gold medallist on the track and a former National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) chief, did not appear at the hearing in a Nairobi anti-corruption court.

Chief prosecutor Noordin Haji said in a statement that Keino will be given the opportunity to “record a further statement”, with a decision to be taken on his case in seven days.

Keino’s lawyer Cecil Miller told AFP his client had been freed, but was required to report back to the police on October 23.

Keino is facing two counts of using his office to misappropriate funds during the Rio Games.

Wario was refused permission to have his passport returned to enable him to travel back to Austria to resume his duties as Kenya’s ambassador to the country.

The other two ministry officials, Haron Komen, who was the administrative secretary and financial officer Patrick Kimithi Nkabwa, also pleaded not guilty.

A total of 55 million shillings ($545,000) was allegedly misappropriated during the Rio Olympics.

AFP

Second Minister Resigns From Macron’s Cabinet

Sports Minister Laura Flessel and President Emmanuel Macron. Credit: AFP

 

French President Emmanuel Macron was hit by a second resignation in a week on Tuesday as his sports minister quit, forcing him to make two changes to his cabinet.

Macron was already seeking a replacement for environment minister Nicolas Hulot, whose shock resignation last week caught France’s political establishment off guard.

Hulot, a TV star who enjoyed the highest ratings of any in Macron’s cabinet, accused the president of not moving fast enough on key green pledges such as cutting France’s reliance on nuclear power.

His resignation was a blow for Macron, who famously responded to US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate deal with a pledge to “make our planet great again”.

His office announced that parliament speaker Francois de Rugy, a former Greens party member who jumped ship to Macron’s Republic on the Move party last year, would fill Hulot’s shoes.

Earlier Tuesday, Sports Minister Laura Flessel, a popular fencing champion overseeing preparations for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, also stepped down.

Unlike Hulot, Flessel cited “personal reasons” for her decision.

“She wants to be able to act more freely and in a different way. (Her decision) is not linked to budgetary issues,” a source close to the minister told AFP, referring to tensions over state funding for the 2024 Games.

She will be replaced by Roxana Maracineanu, a silver medalist in the backstroke at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and a world champion in 1998.

The cabinet shuffle comes as Macron is trying to rebound from his lowest approval ratings since taking office in May 2017.

A poll Tuesday showed his ratings at just 31 per cent, down 10 points since July.

When you are president, “there are some days that are easier than others,” Macron said Monday during a back-to-school visit in Laval, western France.

His popularity had already taken a hit before the holidays after one of his top security aides was caught on film roughing up protesters while wearing a police helmet during a Paris demonstration.

Critics accused the president and his team of trying to cover up the incident, reinforcing his image as an aloof leader dismissive of traditional checks and balances.

Tax trouble 

The French leader also seems to be entertaining doubts about a major tax reform.

The government has pledged to start collecting income tax from workers’ monthly wages starting in January, instead of the year after tax declarations are filed as now.

But Macron now appears to be having doubts, saying he wants to ensure that all the kinks in the new system are ironed out before it is brought it.

French daily Le Parisien reported over the weekend that hundreds of thousands of mistakes had been uncovered during a recent testing phase.

Analysts say that former banker Macron, who has promised to boost purchasing power, may also loathe to oversee a drop in workers’ net salaries on their payslips — even if the total amount they pay in taxes does not change.

Business leaders, whom Macron has pledged to help by slimming down regulations, have criticised the reform which could cost companies a total of 310 million to 420 million euros ($360 million to $490 million) to implement.

Macron was scheduled to discuss the issue with Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin on Tuesday along with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

Philippe’s office said Tuesday that he would appear for a prime-time TV interview Tuesday evening to discuss both the cabinet shake-up and the tax reform plan.

AFP

Kwara Progress To Semis As X-Planter Edge Anambra

The Kwara team

 

LGEA Central Primary School have reached the semi-finals of the Channels International Kids Cup at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

The Kwara-based school advanced to the last four on Thursday, thanks to a 1-0 win over Obukohwo Primary School from Delta State.

READ ALSODalung Visits Players, Seeks Sports Development At Grassroots

Baptist Primary School from Osun State are also through after Adeniyi Segun pounced to score the winner in a 1-0 match against one of the teams representing Lagos, Oke-Ifako Primary School.

In the third quarter-final game, Emmanuel Anglican Primary School from Ekiti beat New Tunga Primary School from Niger State 1-0.

Sports Minister’s Visit To Channels Kids Cup In Pictures

The football match between Ekiti and Niger states

However, the other school representing Lagos at the competition, X-Planter claimed the last slot with a 1-0 win over Premier Primary School from Anambra.

Shortly after the quarter-final matches ended, the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, visited the boys.

Dalung Visits Players, Seeks Sports Development At Grassroots
Minister of SPorts, Mr Solomon Dalung, visits the kids

 

He thanked the organisers of the competition for a job well done, saying it is a platform to encourage the younger generation to believe in Nigeria and develop their sporting skills.

Channels Kids Cup: Dalung Visits Players, Seeks Sports Development At Grassroots

Dalung Visits Players, Seeks Sports Development At Grassroots

 

The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, has visited the players at the Channels International Kids Cup.

Mr Dalung, who was on an official assignment in Lagos, had a stop-by at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere on Thursday to cheer up the teams participating in the tournament.

His arrival at the venue of the tournament comes one day after a former captain of the Super Eagles, Joseph Yobo, stunned the kids with an unexpected visit.

READ ALSO: Kwara Progress To Semis As X-Planter Edge Anambra

In an interview with Channels Television, the Minister decried the attitudes towards sports development in the country, stressing that they contributed majorly to its poor growth.

he noted that he started sports while he was in primary school, adding that the younger generations are being denied the opportunity to display their talents.

Sports Minister’s Visit To Channels Kids Cup In Pictures

Dalung, however, called on state governments and the private sector to create an environment that will encourage sports development, especially at the grassroots level.

He thanked the organisers of the competition for a job well done, saying it is a platform to encourage the younger generation to believe in Nigeria and develop their sporting skills.

“This is the right foundation for sports development. young people must be introduced to sports at these stages and the beauty of it is that they are going to establish friendship right from here.

“The team playing spirit will also be developed here so that when they meet at the latter part of their lives, they are not meeting strangers. This is how significant things like these contribute to sports development,” the minister said.

 

What Reps Told Sports Minister About 2016 Budget Spending

What Reps Told Sports Minister About 2016 Budget SpendingThe House of Reps Committee on Sports says it will not consider the 2017 budget unless it is given a detailed presentation of how the 2016 budget was spent by the Ministry of Sports.

The House Committee took this position following allegations from different federations in the Sports Ministry regarding the disbursement of funds.

As part of its duties in ensuring the implementation of the 2016 budget, the House committee met with the Minister of Sports and officials of the ministry on Friday.

The meeting also sought to tackle pending issues such as the allegations against the Ministry of Sports regarding the disbursement of funds to the various sports federations in the ministry as some of them are yet to receive allocations as stated in the 2016 budget.

The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung, said that he was not aware of such allegations and that putting up a defence would be injustice to the Sports Ministry.

The Minister also touched on funding for the Rio 2016 Olympics and the challenges faced by the Ministry.

A member of the committee, Danburam Nuhu, observed that the ministry ought not to spend beyond the funds approved by the National Assembly.

As the debate rounded off, the chairman of the committee, Bukar Lawal, said that the Minister would have to face the committee again on another day.

Committees are also expected to complete work on the 2016 budget as soon as possible as the 2017 budget proposal is already before the National Assembly.

Former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi Is New APC Spokesman

Former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi Is New APC SpokesmanThe former Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdulahi, is set to replace Mr Lai Mohammed as the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after north central leaders adopted him.

His election held on Thursday at the Zonal Congress of the party in Abuja.

Among the delegates to the congress were Governors Simon Lalong of Plateau and Sani Bello of Niger States.

The congress was chaired by the National Vice Chairman of APC from the zone, Zakari Idde.

Abdulahi was unanimously confirmed via a voice vote by the delegates, after the Nasarawa State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Godiya Akwashiki, nominated him and was seconded by Senate Spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi.

Mr Abdullahi told journalists after his emergence that he would adopt a fresh strategy on his new job as he was aware that the post is different from his former position of sports minister, as they “demand different approaches”.

“I have a fair understanding of what I am expected to do even though you never know until you really get there.

“What I can assure is that I will do the best I can, not only in the improvement of our party but also in contributing to the progress of this country especially at this challenging period,” he said.

On the pressure that comes with the office of the National Publicity Secretary for a ruling party, Abdulahi said that he had the experience to manage this.

“However, what I know is that every human being is under pressure. Mr President, the ruling party chairman and everybody including the journalists are under pressure. There will always be pressure because the expectations of people are very high.

“So, irrespective of the economic challenges, we have to continue to weather the storm especially now that I am brought in to be part of the process. All I can reassure is that I will give the best I can to ensure that we continue to move forward,” he said.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, held the position until hi appointment as Minister by President Muhammadu buhari.

South African Minister Shocked At Coach Ephraim Mashaba’s Suspension

South African Minister Shocked At Coach Ephraim Mashaba SuspensionSouth Africa’s Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula, says he is taken aback by the suspension of national coach, Ephraim Mashaba, especially now that the national team is doing well.

South Africa’s football association suspended head coach Ephraim Mashaba after what it refers to as “a regrettable incident”, a day after he guided the team to a 2-1 World Cup qualifying home victory over Senegal.

SAFA gave no reason for the suspension, but there are indications the 66-year-old argued with officials from the national body after the match in Polokwane.

“Mashaba will not join the team on their trip to Mozambique”, read the FA’s statement.

It added: “The Association has deemed it necessary to employ disciplinary measures after a regrettable incident at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday, 12 November 2016.”

There were also reports that he disrespected SAFA President, Danny Jordan.

His assistant Owen da Gama will take charge for the friendly against Mozambique in Maputo on Tuesday.

South Africa share first place in Group D with Burkina Faso on four points after two rounds.

Sports Minister Advocates Maintenance Of Sporting Facilities

SportsThe Minister for Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has charged managers and users of sporting facilities in Nigeria to develop a good maintenance culture.

According to the Minister, the poor state of infrastructure in the country is getting worse because those in charge of the facilities do not take proper care of them and when they go bad, they are abandoned.

While conducting a facility tour of the National Stadium in Lagos, Dalung expressed deep disappointment at the dilapidated state of the nation’s sporting facilities.

”As a people, our maintenance culture is very poor. We have no good reasons to explain why these structures are in the state they are. If fully maximized, those facilities could have generated good revenue and other benefits for sports development.”

The Minister expressed disappointment at the level of rot at the National Stadium and hopes to bring the structure back to life if given the chance to stay on with a long term plan.

One project he wants completed is the swimming pool. He gave a strict order to the contractor executing the project.

“If you tell me that this project will be completed in 100 years, I will wait. But if after that I come and you provide excuses why it is not completed, you will need God and the angels to intervene for you.

“If we release funds for you, we will follow you to the touchline. I don’t allow contractors to be paid and they use our money to change their fleet of cars and woo new girlfriends.

“My position is that before the end of the first quarter, people should be swimming in this pool. If it’s too difficult for you to meet up, I’ll help you but make sure that this pool is completed before the end of first quarter.”

Solomon Dalung also confirmed that there were plans to improve the welfare of national team players and coaching crew. According to him, it is important to take care of the athletes so they can give their best when representing the country.

”We are addressing the issue of non-payment of wages to players and the coaching crew. After giving the country a good representation, denying them of their benefits is totally unacceptable.

”The president has also approved the rewards of athletes who have made this country proud and have not been rewarded. These include the first team that won the Fifa U-16 Championship in 1985, we have sorted them out and the President has approved a date which will be announced this month for a celebration to appreciate the players including those who have done well recently.”

The Minister said that he believes a good reward system will sustain the skills, zeal and patriotism of Nigerian athletes whenever they are representing the country.

Danagogo Wants Super Eagles To Be Competitive

DanagogoNigeria’s Sports Minister and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Dr. Tammy Danagogo has charged the Nigeria Football Federation and coaching crew of the senior national team to make the Super Eagles competitive and ensure that only the best players represent the country at all times.

The minister who was pleased with the recent two-legged friendly matches for the home-based team against Cote d’ Ivoire and Yemen in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai, urged the NFF to organise more quality friendlies for the the players to stay busy.

According to a statement from the commission, Dr. Danagogo advised that with regular friendly matches for the Team B Eagles, the coaches would be able to beef up the first team for crucial matches with new players discovered as the Eagles prepare for the 2017 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers scheduled to begin after the on-going 2015 edition in Equatorial Guinea.

“If the Team B gets regular friendly matches, the coaches will have a pool of players to select from to beef up the main team.

“They have to make the team competitive so that only the best will represent the country at all times,” he said.

He called on Nigerians to continue to support the Super Eagles despite their failure to qualify for this year’s edition of the Nations Cup, adding that he was sure the NFF and the players have realised the mistakes of the past and will ensure they are corrected.