Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Reps Decries Inadequate Funding of Sports

The House Representative Committee on Sports has expressed concern over the inadequate sports funding in the country by the government as reflected in the yearly budgetary provision of the National Sports Commission (NSC). The committee made the observation during the 2013 budget defense of the NSC before it.

The NSC had proposed N6, 765,939,410.00 for its 2013 fiscal year. But the committee feared that the amount proposed by the commission may not be released hundred percent to them as at when due. The proposed amount has remained the headache of the ministry as well as the house committee on sports who has now joined the ministry to decry the poor funding of sports.

The breakdown of the 2013 budget estimate of NSC before the House committee on Sports show that the commission will spend N1.2b on personnel, N1. 8b on capital expenditure, while N3.6billion is for the overhead expenditure which include sporting activities for the year.

Geoffrey Gaiya, the committee chairman told newsmen shortly after the presentation that sports should by now receive adequate funding considering the role it plays in the country. He lamented the persistent inadequacy in sports funding to lack of political will on the government. "By now we would have been seeing remarkable differences in funding for sports in this country but, here we are even after the good speeches at the retreat we are still left with the actual amount emerge for sports development."

According to Gaiya if sports must be made one of those sector that will move the nation forward as acclaimed by many that it is the unifying factor for the corporate existence of Nigeria, then sports deserve better funding.

Earlier, the director general of NSC, Patrick Ekeji who represented the minister of sports and chairman National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi in the 2013 budget defence on Monday at the National Assembly said not what the sports commission actually proposed to run sports for 2013 was allocated to them, thereby causing them not to achieve much as expected.

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