Nigeria’s Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung has tasked state governments to work towards developing sports at the grassroots and ensure their contingent participate in the upcoming National Youth Games billed for 22nd of September in Kwara.
Dalung made the call at the Government House, Yola when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Muhammed Jibrilla.
The minister applauded governor Jibrilla’s efforts in transforming the state within a short period of time despite Nigeria’s economic challenges.
Dalung described sports as a veritable tool for national development which could be used to create employment, attract investors and reduce youth restiveness thereby curbing insecurity. “ I want to assure you Your Excellency that if our youths are fully involve in sporting activities, there will be little or no security threat to life or property in our community and the government would not spend much on security votes anymore” Dalung said.
He stressed the need for governments at the state and local levels to create programmes that will keep the youth busy and employed.
He challenged the Adamawa State Government to commence training of athletes for the National Youths Games. “I will be waiting to see youth from Adamawa state displaying their God given talents at the games” he said.
The minister and his delegation decorated Adamawa State Governor, Muhammed Umaru as one of the pillars of grassroots sports development in the country. Governor Muhammed Jibrilla while responding appreciated the minister for finding him worthy of the honor as a pillar of grassroots sports in Nigeria. The governor promised to do all within his capacity to support sporting activities in the state. “It is indeed true that sports plays a vital role in national integration, that is why we will continue to work towards encouraging our youths to fully participate in sporting activities” the governor said.
Governor Jibrilla said he will liaise with the state ministry of Youths and Sport to ensure that athletes are fully prepared for the upcoming games.
Governor Jibrilla who lamented the state’s lack of sporting infrastructure assured that within a year and a half, the minister will come and commission the state’s sports complex which had been under construction for decades. He said “we have been talking with the speaker and members of my cabinet about the sports complex and we will ensure that the project is built to an international standard and become the envy of many states.”
A minute silence was observed in honor of late Executive Director of Sports, Adamawa State, Mallam Umaru Nekendawiri who died on Sunday 4th September, 2016.