By Aaron Ossai
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara has said the National Assembly will not tolerate any activity that will have adverse effect on the development of sports in Nigeria.
He also called for more focus on harnessing the business potentials of sports in Nigeria to boost the economy and develop the sector to global standards.
Dogara was speaking at a public hearing on 3 Sports related bills which be declared open at the National Assembly.
The Speaker also expressed hope that the 3 bills will improve administration and management of the industry, establish institutions and agencies that will enable it realise its full potentials and capacity.
He also called on stakeholders to make meaningful contributions that will enrich the proposed laws.
“These Bills represent elements of change required to reposition the Nigerian Sports sector. To state that the sector has been on a steady downslide is stating the obvious. Hence, to concretise strategy on effective administration and management of the industry as well as establish institutions and agencies to enable it realise its full potentials and capacity is most timely for the sanctity of the sector and integrity of Nigeria in the comity of nations.
“The Sport industry is one of the critical sectors of the economy. Over the years, sport has become a global economic and business undertaking; the need to get serious in this context cannot be overemphasized. Most importantly the sector represents a safe haven for the youths, where they are, in most cases, recognised nationally and internationally. Most importantly perhaps is the reality that sports has remained one of the greatest unifying factors to Nigeria as a nation for we all are indebted.
“The cardinal aim of the third Bill, to establish Nigerian Sports anti-doping agency devoid of internal or external interference is very crucial, particularly to comply with the express requirements of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Nigeria being a signatory. Also, the Bill will not only create awareness among athletes but restore the integrity and confidence in sporting activities.
“The National Assembly, as partner in the Nigerian project, will not condone activities inimical to the development of the Sports industry. I assure you that members of the committee, who are seasoned administrators and professionals in varied disciplines, understand the magnitude of the task before them and are prepared to consult extensively on these Bills to arrive at logical and functional conclusions”, he added.
The three bills are A Bill for an Act to repeal The Nigerian Football Association Act, CAP. N110, Laws of The Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and re-enact the Nigeria Football Federation Act to Provide For the administration of the game of football in Nigeria.
A bill for an Act to provide for the administration and management of sports in Nigeria, establishment of sports institutions and facilities, harness sports for development and to encourage and promote drug-free sports and recreation in Nigeria.
And a Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Sports Anti-doping Agency responsible for carrying out the functions of Nigeria Anti-doping Code in accordance with the various international standards.