A patron of the Nigeria Olympics Committee, NOC, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima has said after 59 years of independence from colonial rule, Nigeria is yet to attain her full potentials in sports.
Speaking to Daily Trust yesterday, the vastly experienced sports administrator said in as much as some achievements have been recorded, they are far below the country’s potentials.
“I think it will be wrong for anyone to say we have reached our full potentials in sports in 59 years considering the size of Nigeria and the population we have.
“However, it is mixed grail. We must have made some progress in some areas but the disappointments are far too many in terms of quality of administration of sports, in terms of welfare of athletes and infrastructure.
“We have seen the new minister of sports going round sports facilities and expressing disgust at what he had seen. It is disturbing that as a country we can count the number of indoor sports halls we have while in other climes even colleges have more number of indoor sports facilities.
“It is a wakeup call for us to reflect on some of these challenges and see how we can make amends. But like I said, our performances over the years have failed to match our greatness in terms of population, resources and capacity in Africa,” he said.
However, the former chairman of the then Nigeria Football Association, NFA, said it is not all gloom reiterating that Nigeria is blessed with enormous potentials that if properly harnessed the country can be ranked among the greatest in the world.
He said for this to be achieved issues like high turnover of ministers and the lingering crises in the sports federations must be addressed.
“We have the potentials but if you look at what is happening right now in Doha, the clumsy way we have handled things, you will know that something is wrong.
“The crises in sports federations is also taking a great toll on Nigerian sports. So we need to sit down and reflect on these issues and try to recover the lost ground.
“Time there was that we were the country to beat in Africa. Unfortunately we have lost such dominance.
“The instability in the system in terms of the high turnover of ministers is also affecting sports development. Sunday Dare is the 15th sports minister from 1999 to date, so this is also a problem we have to address.
“Our youths are really being frustrated from showcasing their God given talents to the world and this should bother all well meaning Nigerians,” said Galadima.