Daily Trust (Abuja)

27 February 2013

Nigeria: 'Use Ecowas Games to Improve At Olympics'

Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi yesterday called on Ecowas memeber cpountries to make maximum use ogf the ECOWAS Games to improve of their performance in subsequent Olympic Games.

Abdullahi, who was speaking at the opening session of the meeting of the ministers of sports in Supreme Council for Sports Africa (SCSA) zone 2 and 3 held yesterday in Abuja, emphasized the need for the review of sports development policy in ECOWAS member countries.

He said the call became necessary in view of the poor performance of West African countries at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

According to him, with the third edition of ECOWAS Games coming up next year in Cote d'Ivoire, there is an urgent need to look at the present architecture of the games in order to serve the region better.

"It is no longer news that no West African country won gold medal at the last Olympics Games in London. This calls for serious concern considering the fact that we have the talents, manpower and wherewithal to excel at these games.

"We need to review our performances and come up with plans and programmes to forestall future occurrences of this nature," he said.

The meeting of the ministers of sports in the Supreme Council for Sports Africa (SCSA) zone 2 and 3 was call to harmonise the position of the zones and present a common position on the dissolution or otherwise of the Supreme Council for Sports Africa (SCSA) during their general assembly coming up next month in Cote d'Ivoire.

Amongst other issues also discussed during yesterday's meeting is the hosting of CIGEPS Regional meeting slated to hold in Nigeria in March, 2013; MINEP V meeting in Germany; ECOWAS position on the winding up of SCSA; ECOWAS Games and ECOWAS countries' performance at the Olympics.

Eight countries from SCSA Sports Development zones 2 & 3 namely: The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea Bissau and Liberia as well as six sports technocrats attended the meeting.

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