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#TRPolitics: 5 Reasons President Buhari Should Not Appoint a Minister of Sports

Telema Davies

2015-09-28 12:00:13.

There have been agitations on the continuous absence of ministers in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Concerns for the release of the list of ministerial nominees was met with the president’s promise to make this public at the end of September while on his first official trip to the United States of America in July.

With a week to the end of the month and the list yet to be made public, pressure heightens even in the face of current political quagmire.

Should President Buhari appoint a minister of sport? The arguments are quite subjective for and against. However, here are a few reasons why Nigeria does not need a minister for this portfolio.

1. “Longevity is not legality.” There simply is no rule that suggests that Nigeria must have a minister of sports. Appointing a minister for this portfolio has more than often served political interests rather than realizing the growth potential of this sector.

2. The National Sports Commission should drive sports in Nigeria. This does not require a minister. The NSC has its objectives (subject to review) clearly stated. The organisation which has a director-general at the helm is the institution constitutionally empowered to oversee sports development in the country. It knows the rope from inside and should serve at the forefront of leading the growth of the sector.

3. The Buhari administration has never hidden its desire on the need to operate government on a lean budget. It seems easy to point out the ministry of sports as the portfolio to forego. The NSC as earlier mentioned, is the institution constitutionally empowered to supervise the nation’s sports growth and development through its member federations.

Any distress or clamour that suggests that sports will suffer without a ministerial appointee is not pragmatic.

4. Pragmatism should be the principle on which sports grows and not political hegemony. Sports in Nigeria should no longer serve the interest of a few who are bereft of how to organize and transform the sector into a viable industry offering policy thrust for growth in the economy.

Politicians are short lived in appointments and this in itself weakens the structure and confidence for growth. More to this is that with the appointments of politicians, short termism in nature, is their agenda for the portfolio which equally is short in lifespan.

5. Aren’t we fed up of having a minister of football? The National Sports Commission serves in the interest of all sports. Recent activities of ministers of sports since the advent of civilian rule has favoured football over other sports. This has to change. And Nigeria does not need a minister for this ideological revolution to take effect.
No minister of sports should get the country thinking on how to maximize this sector for national transformation and economic empowerment.


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