Speaking during a courtesy call on the Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, the President of NUGA, Ken Anugweje said that over the years, his association has been in limbo because of lack of attention from the ministry of Education which is supposed to be its parent ministry.
He said at the moment NUGA cannot boast of any paternity because officially, issues of the associations are supposed to be the concern of the ministry of education but the ministry has failed to fully embrace it just as the ministry of sports has not considered NUGA as one of its immediate responsibilities.
“NUGA is without paternity. When we go to the ministry of education, we are referred to the ministry of sports and the sports ministry in the past did not see NUGA as one of its own”.
Anugweje lamented that in the past, budget proposals sent to the ministry of education did not see the light of the day, a development which he said had rendered the association financially impotent and incapable of attending international competitions.
“It a shame that while other smaller nations like Ghana, Benin and Togo have booked flights to the World Universities Games to be held in Serbia, Nigeria cannot boast of even getting her players in camp for the games”.
He said NUGA had been sanctioned twice for failing to participate in the world universities games and also sanctioned twice for lateness, a development which he blamed on lack of funds.
Anugweje explained that even as NUGA has been neglected by successive administrations, it has remained the country’s saving grace in sports as he noted that at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in China, there was no medal which the country won that had nothing to do with a Nigerian University student.
The NUGA president therefore called on the sports minister to come to the aid of the association to enable it attend the world university games slated for Serbia saying that even as the date for the games is getting closer, there has been no favourable response from the ministry of education.
Responding, the minister of Sports, Engineer Sani Ndanusa thanked the Executive of NUGA for the courtesy call and pledged to give the body necessary assistance as it continues to contribute its quota to youth sports development.
He promised to woo corporate sponsors for the association saying that if brought on board, such sponsors would enjoy mileage in tax rebate which the federal government has placed at the disposal of the companies which are willing to sponsor sports.
Ndanusa in addition advised the executive of NUGA to initiate a meeting between his ministry and that of Education so that some of the issues raised by the body could be thrashed out for the good of the sport associoation.
The minister in addition, asked NUGA to forward to his office its request for the World Universities Games for further discussion and assistance where possible.