Directors of Sports Forum on Saturday called on government at all levels to invest 20 per cent of their security vote in the development of sports in the country.
The Chairman of the forum, Tunde Kazeem, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that adequate investment in sports would reduce the many social vices in the country.
The chairman of the forum said that 60 per cent of Nigerian youths were actively involved in sport, hence the need for proper investment by all tiers of government.
He also called on the private sector to invest in sports development as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
“We love sport in Nigeria, but we are not paying attention to sports at the three tiers of government.
“Government should know that sport is business, education and health.
“I advocate that the money we are spending on security, 20 per cent of it should be invested in sports and the high level of vices in the society will drop.
“I am also appealing to corporate bodies, financial institutions to key into sport development since government cannot do it alone,’’ he said.
Kazeem said Nigeria should developed a progression system for sports development in Nigeria adding that small countries in Africa was doing better because of the systematic programme for sports.
He said that Nigeria was blessed with abundance of talents but they were underutilized adding that the progression system should address discovery of talents and training athletes, coaches and referees.
He noted that constant change of governance was also a major setback to sports adding that Nigerian politicians must developed a political will for sports development.
Kazeem also stressed the need for Nigeria to be more involve in continental politic adding that this was another way to develop sports.
“I want to see the next administration after the elections, working to see that more Nigerians are keyed into continental bodies.
“There is a lot of infighting in Nigeria sports and we draw ourselves back, unstill we come together as one, the way forward for sports will continued to be a mirage,’’ he said.
He however, commended Nigeria’s sports performance in 2018 adding that the country did not do badly but could do better with more competitions and adequate funding.
Kazeem said that the 2018 National Sports Festival (NSF) served a dual purpose.
He said that the festival served as trials for the All African Games coming up in Morocco in 2019, just as it provided an opportunity for states to showcase their sport talents.
“The talents discovered from the NSF will move into camp anytime from now for the African Games and of course the Olympics.
“ I only hope that money will be made available for various federations to kick start preparations. That is where we always have problems; we will have good programmes but no funds for execution, no cash backing,’’ he said.
Kazeem described the year 2019 as a promising one for sport in Nigeria. (NAN)