Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: No More Grant to All Federations - Abdullahi

Minister of Sports Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi yesterday declared that as from next year, not all sports federations in the country will enjoy the annual grant to sports federations from the National Sports Commission.

Abdullahi, who revealed this at the opening ceremony of a one-day National Open Forum on Youth Development, organized by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), explained that henceforth only federations that have shown genuine desire to develop their sports would enjoy the annual grant.

"Even though it is not a lot of money we as grant to federations, I have continued to insist that as from next year, we are not going to give grants to all federations. We are going to give grant to federations who show that they know what to do with the grant.

"Instead of spreading our meagre resources because we want to carry along all federations, we will concentrate the resources on those who show that they know what they are doing", the minister said.

Accordingly, he said the Commission would set up a framework that will enable the federations win the grant.

"We (the National Sports Commission) are going to set up a framework that will enable the federations win these grants because it is going to be competitive", he added.

Also speaking at the occasion, NBBF President Mallam Tijani Umar explained that the occasion was to fill the yawning gap created by the lack of sustainable blueprint for hunting and nurturing young basketball players for future national assignments.

Umar, who blamed the failure of the country to fill the gap for the not so impressive showing of the country's basketball at the continental and global stage, noted that even the little successes achieved in the sport were as a result of few individual efforts.

"We are here to fill the yawning gap created by the lack of sustainable blueprint on hunting and nurturing our young basketball stars in a manner that will guarantee the success of our leagues and national teams.

"Even the little success we have achieved is as of the youth intervention programmes like the Nestle Milo Secondary School Championship, Olumide Oyedeji Annual Camp, Ejike Ugboaja Camp and other camps which are geared towards harnessing young players for greater future", he stated.

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