During his screening on the floor of the Senate, President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, Sani Ndanusa, had promised to re-engineer sports for greater efficiency and improved results Ndanusa, had told the Senators, that his association with sports was born out of deep love and participation, noting that with him at the helm of affairs of the country's sports, his agenda would be to focus on the sports where Nigeria has comparative advantage of doing well and drive it for sustainable development.
He noted that sports must grow from the grassroots and not the usual short-term practice of starting from the top and only preparing for competitions, adding that with the right blend of foot soldiers at his disposal, Nigerian sports was bound to become better.
So moving was his submission on sports growth and restructuring that the Senate President, David Mark, told him to take a bow
And only yesterday at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, Ndanusa was confirmed by President Musa Yar'Adua as the new Minister of Youths, Sports and Social Development, a sector that has been bedevilled by poor administration, for many years.
Can he change the tide? Can Ndanusa cleanse the Augean stable, now that he has achieved his life-long objective of running Nigerian sports or is it going to be another case of good boy gone bad as typified in the other before him?
If his scorecard as the boss of the Nigeria Tennis Federation is any parameter in analysing the outlook for our sports under Ndanusa's reign, then there could be hope but administering tennis and Nigerian sports, which comprises football and other sports, are two different things.
Ndanusa is climbing the hot-seat at a time that things have gone awry for our sports. The Super Falcons failed to defend their Africa Women's Champions crown in Equatorial Guinea, the Golden Eaglets failed to qualify to play at next year's African Under-17 Tournament in Egypt while only at the weekend, Nigeria's home-based Eagles failed make it to the African |Nations Championship holding from February in Ivory Coast. Add the above to the country's woeful showing at the last Olympic Games in Beijing, China, then a clearer picture of what Ndanusa is inheriting becomes visible to the discerning.
But, Ndanusa, who was born on My 5,1957, is one man who is made for this job, unlike his other predecessors, who had nothing linking them with the job. Apart from being a President of the NTF, having served as Vice-President for four years, Nigeria's new Minister of Sports is also a serving Vice-President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee.
He holds a master's of science degree in waste and water engineering from Louhborough University of Technology, United Kingdon. He has extensive civil service experience that spans two decades. Ndanusa served as General Manager of Niger State Water Board between 1999 and 2001, from where he became a permanent secretary of the board. Until yesterday's appointment, he was Niger State's Commissioner for Transportation and Infrastructural Development. He was supervising the construction of new stadium in Niger State before now.
A devout Moslem, Ndanusa is happily married with children .