Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The newly appointed Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Sunday Dare, has warned the agencies and parastatals under the ministry that he is going to engage in crucial confrontation.
Speaking on assumption of office at his Federal Secretariat Abuja yesterday, he promised to hit ground running, stressing that he is not unaware of the spate of crises rocking the sports sector, just as he appealed to stakeholders to work harmoniously.
He explained that the threat to be confrontational in asking difficult questions is to exact the best out of everyone.
“I do believe that after I have taken my briefings from virtually every directors, then we have crucial conversations. Some of it could be crucial confrontations because I am going to ask very difficult questions in order the exact the best out of every one of us because the mandate that I have, and that we have as Ministers is to make sure that this country shows up among countries of the world in the 24 century in virtually all areas of life,” he warned.
Speaking further, he said: “I am very happy being assigned here. I will hit ground running. As you can see, I am rolling up my agbada, so the work starts now. Let us get ready and let us roll up our sleeves and work together.
“The president’s agenda stand on three tripods, that is security, revitalising the economy and the fight against corruption and if you cascade that, there are 11 key areas that the President wants to enrgise in the next four years.
“At the centre of that is lifting 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years. If you look at the population growth of our country today, we know where the youths stand.
“So, youth development is the key. We have youths and sports, s our mandate area is clear. So, we must broaden our horrisism. We must deepen the work we do and the quality of work we do. I am not unaware of the controversies and issues within this ministry, it is a mimistry dear to the heart of Nigerians.
“Beyond soccer, we have other sports, but at the heart of that work is also youth development. But there are other ways we can develop the youths. We can teach them digital skills and help them with their start-ups. So, we will be thinking outside the box.
“We will also find a way of taking sports out of the back pages up to the front pages. That is possible. I have a massive media background and I know that the media are integral part of Youth and Sports.
“Of course, I thank the media for the work they have done and I will be relying very heavily on you as we embark on this journey together.
“Like as I said earlier, the ministry is critical to the achievement of the agenda of Mr President and as sit here today, we know what sports means to millions of our country men and women. But beyond that, we have a youth population that is restless that is hyper and that is demanding that want answers and I am going to bring down the silos.
“I am going to revitalise inter-ministerial collaborations. I am going to work with ministries we can work with you, pull resources together, pull skills together to make success of our assignments,” he promised.