Speaking to Trustsports recently, the commissioner of sports said he has found his assignment very challenging because sports which is capital intensive does not attract enough sponsorship from the corporate world and government alone can’t provide all the needs of the sector.
He said since he came on board as commissioner of sports, he has been striving to attract corporate sponsorship for sports in his state but there have been no positive results because the organized private sector is yet to realize the need to sponsor sports.
Mohammed noted that even the obsolete sporting facilities which need to be renovated in order to ginger the performances of athletes in the state have not gotten the desired attention because the private sector is unwilling to lend a helping hand.
He maintained that in such a situation, it has been very difficult for him to realize his vision for sports in the state which he said is blessed with abundant talents.
“Honestly speaking, sports now has to do with private sector sponsorship. Government is supposed to provide the enabling environment for the sector to thrive. This is what is obtainable in other climes but the story here is always different. Government is expected to sponsor sports hundred percent. If this misconception is not corrected, there will be no development in Nigerian sports.
“I want to emphasis here that in this country, corporate bodies are never willing to come and complement government efforts and this is what is killing sports in the country. Government has other problems to tackle and it cannot channel all resources to sports” he explained.
He said although he has been knocking at doors, such efforts have ended like water splashed on the back of a duck because those approached did not come forward to contribute their quota to sports development.
Mohammed cited the case of the Federation of Public Servants Games, FEPSGA which the state hosted without enough private sector contribution as an example of what he meant by apathy of corporate bodies to sports development.
“When we hosted the Federation of Public Servants Games last year, we set up the marketing and sponsorship committee to ensure that corporate bodies came to our aid but it was so disappointing because in the end, what we realized was not up to what we spent on logistics”.
He said that despite the cold response from the corporate world, a department to be known as marketing and sponsorship department under the sports council and it would be charged with the responsibility of wooing the private sector to come and complement government effort.
Mohammed however stated that he was not out to undermine the efforts and contribution of the private sector just as he noted that some have remained useful partners in the struggle to develop sports in the state.
The Commissioner elucidated that in as much as some of the corporate bodies have been doing their best to contribute to sports development, they need to do more because sports is capital intensive and no amount of support should be considered to be too much.
He assured that with the unflinching support from the state governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, he will not stop knocking at doors with prospects until the day he would record the desired break through.
“It is difficult to attract sponsors but we are not going to give up. We would continue to solicit for assistance from the corporate bodies and I believe that one day, we would get the desired result” he said