Breakdown in Nigeria Sports System.
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by blessykina, Nigeria · Sep 02, 2016 - 8:09
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Some of the people heading strategic positions in Nigeria seem to find it difficult to come to terms as to what to do in order to improve the standards of the offices they occupy.  There is a job description for every public office holder, so why are things not done in the right manner?  Or is it that everything in our country is tied or related to politics? We are yet to appreciate the right technical knowhow or try to flow with current trends that brings innovation and speedy attention to foster work in different Ministries.

The world has been revolving at a very fast pace but Nigeria just wants to relax on her oars and enjoy half-baked preparations all the time. We keep talking all the time but we don’t seem to achieve results with all that talking.

Take the sport Industry for instance, there are so many youths in our country today who are yearning for support to be fully engaged and represent our country. Why can’t we engage in more sports so that we can have bountiful representations in so many categories of sport during events like the Olympic?

Not just engaging people but also being truthful to the course in terms of funds that have been allocated to help foster progress in such areas.  Even if they feel the funds are not enough or are yet to be released we have multinational companies that help sponsor major events it’s all about reaching a compromise rather than embarrassing ourselves. Can’t they think outside the box? And even when the funds are made available what is the probability that some group of people will not divert the funds and eventually this tends to lead to poor preparations on the parts of our sportsmen. We struggle with transparency all the time.

Nigeria football Association will never stop giving reasons why they cannot pay our Nigerian coaches and players. It is totally not acceptable that someone will work and at the end of the day doesn’t get adequately compensated for his effort, and that is why in my opinion most of our footballers especially those in foreign clubs feel it shouldn’t be a do or die affair whenever they are playing for our  dear country. They are always so careful because even at the end of the day who ever sustain serious injury in the course of serving his nation is left to his own fate.

They are well paid in their respective clubs and that is where they get the best value but that should not be the case.

Team Nigeria, Men’s football competition won the only medal that brought in a bit of hope that was only achievable after much struggling.  The dream team were held up in Atlanta USA due to issues regarding payment for their flight. They only landed in Brazil few hours before their opening 5-4 win over Japan. That indeed is a wrong way of starting an event

The Japanese surgeon Katsuya Takasu who put a bright smile on the faces of our footballers proved to be a man who keeps to his words by fulfilling the promise of $390,000 dollars which he promised the dream team after much complaint of financial difficulties from them.

What that Surgeon has done is very remarkable and exceptional. A foreigner from a far away country rendered that type of gesture, following so many unfulfilled promises from our governments over the years and even wealthy Nigerians.

The sport minister has attributed our poor performance to the late release of funds. Why can’t we ever do things in the right way? It’s so terrible because we have seen things like these happen over and over again, and not to mention the issue of kits for most of our Nigeria athletes arriving late after most of our sportsmen had finished their events with some of them competing with their personal kits. It is not encouraging at all.

In my opinion our sports industry can never grow like this it is not appealing for a great Nation like ours.

Nigeria has moved beyond the level of competing in only ten games in such a major event like the Olympics. If countries like USA, UK can win more medals, why can’t a Nation like ours in Africa which so many African countries look up to, win the same or a substantial amount?

A good sportsman should be proud of his country and the country likewise. People like Kanu Nwankwo who had a hole in heart years back was written off, but he had a more challenging destiny and was able to bounce back. Dosu Joseph, Rashidi Yekini, Steven Keshi  and a host of others, just to mention a few, gave the best but were they really compensated for their hard works? Nigerians don’t need to talk before the appropriate authorities should know what to do.

I love my country and hope to see a wonderful nation advancing and competing in all facets harnessing all our resources. Competing with the world powers and not just a redundant and dependant nation.

Authorities, action should speak louder than voice.  Authorities should make future plans, long term and short term plans groom talents from their young age by equipping our schools right from the primaries to universities with good sport facilities and stick to the idea of improving sport from the grassroots.

Children are all the same weather from a rich background or poor background at the end of the day everybody has a destiny but what differs between both is that while the former has opportunities the latter is limited but I believe that through our school system every one can reach certain dream. Everyone must not end up sitting in the office many are meant to take up all those extra curriculum activities professionally.

Authorities it is your duty to motivate and put smiles on the faces of our present sportsmen and future sportsmen. We don’t need to beg for it or clap or say that minister is trying he has done this and done that it is not a big deal in the western world where you need to prove yourself as a public servant. Your work should speak for you and nobody should prove to be a big man behind his desk.

By Blessing Ikokwu-Oruche
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