What Has Solomon Dalung Achieved in 6 Months As Minister of Youth & Sports?

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That apart from making accountability and good governance his watchword since assumption of office six months ago, the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, despite the mismanagement of funds for preparation for the Rio Olympics by the administration he inherited, he has been able to ensure the qualification of athletes from more than eight sports for the games, the highest being athletics where over 30 athletes have qualified.

Barrister Dalung on assumption of office, identified lack of facilities and equipment as the bane of sports development in Nigeria. He has not only set up a committee to do a thorough audit of sports facilities and equipment in the country. He has started the resuscitation of moribund facilities. One example is the Swimming Pool at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. The swimming pool was abandoned for 20 years but is now ready for use. The minister also organized a professional evaluation of the decadence at the National stadium since 1999, redrawing the design of the stadium and concluding plans to start renovation.

The Honourable Minister has also set up a sports restructuring committee with the responsibility of fashioning out a model that will move our sports from the service oriented model he inherited to a development oriented model. The Ministry has also supported athletes in various capacities despite paucity of funds. In Table Tennis, Aruna Quadri won the men’s single event at the Africa Top 16 championship in Sudan while in Weightlifting, Nigeria won 11 gold, 7 Silver and two bronze medals at the African qualifying tournament held in Yaounde May, 2016.

In March 2016, our wrestlers won 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals in the Cairo Senior Wrestling Championships. Also in Wrestling, our athletes won 4 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals at the Africa/Oceania 2016 qualifier held in Tunis. Wrestling qualified 7 athletes for Rio Olympics in April 2016 while in Powerlifting, Nigeria won 1 silver and 3 bronze medal in IPC 2015 European Open held in Hungary from November 24th to 30th 2015. In Scrabble, Wellington Jighere in November 2015 won the World English language Scrabble Players Championships in Perth, Australia.

The Honourable Minister has been able to attract investors and has been undertaking projects without a budget. In the youth arm of the ministry, the Honourable Minister has initiated The National Accelerated Youth Development Programme (NAYDEP) aimed at reaching and maintaining a database of at least 18 Million youths nationwide; one million in each of the 18 thematic issues of the National Youth Policy by December 2016. The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will also mobilize and deploy one million youths (from the 18 million) as Change Agents, Change Champions and Transformation Entrepreneurs before the end of 2018.

Barrister Dalung has created a Youth Development Financing Trademark (BBSF) as well as Brands and Business that will shape our youths’ future and facilitate the creation of 100,000 jobs through Transformation Enterprises in two years. It will also facilitate the establishment of 109 Youth Business Clusters, 1 in each Senatorial District and FCT by 2019. The Honourable Minister has also launched a portal called Young Nigerian Investors and innovators to help link young Nigerians with the global market.
He is on the verge of signing an MOU with Peugeot Auptomobile Nigeria to launch a Youth Taxi Scheme. 200 Youths per state will be given cars through various cooperatives to pay back on hire purchase basis.

He is working with UNIDO to train Youth Development officers nationwide in entrepreneurial skills. In just six months, the Honourable Minister, working with his colleagues, has set up an inter-ministerial committee on job creation for youths and has developed a content note for presentation to the African Development Bank.
The Honourable Minister has also developed a strategic framework for youth empowerment which will be presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval. Others include reformation of the National Youth Council of Nigeria and the Youth Empowerment Programme with Innoson Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Company and others.

The above are just a few of the Honourable Minister’s achievements among others.”

Maiwada Dammallam SA Political to Honorable Minister.

As published by National Mirror (P.47), Guardian (P.56) and Daily Trust (P.50)

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