From Angela Nwaeze, Ebonyi
The Nigerian Senate, Friday, held a public hearing on a bill for an act to establish the Federal University of Sports, Nkalagu, Ebonyi State, to make comprehensive provision for it’s due management and administration and other related matters 2021(SB.138).
The bill, sponsored by senator Obinna Ogba, Chairman Committee on Sports and Youths Development, passed its first reading in 2019, while the second reading was 2021, thereafter, it was referred to the committee on Sports and Youths Development.
He also sponsored a bill for an act to establish the National Sports Commission to be charged with the responsibility of administering, encouraging, and developing sports and games throughout Nigeria and other matters incidental thereto, 2020 (SB.202).
In his address, senator Ogba said the bill for the establishment of National Sports Commission, was passed by the 8th Senate, but President Buhari did not assent to it.
He noted that the key essence of the Bill for the establishment of Federal University of Sports, Nkalagu is to provide a highly specialized institution with the state of art facilities where Nigerian youths will be developed in various sporting activities in an academically charged environment.
He said the Objectives of the University of Sports include; to encourage the advancement of learning and to hold out to all persons without distinction of race, creed, sex or political conviction the opportunity of acquiring higher education in sports.
Also, to Develop and offer academic and professional programs leading to the award of diploma, first degrees, Post-Graduate research and higher degrees with emphasis on planning, adaptive, technical, maintenance, developmental and productive skills in the engineering and allied professional disciplines relating to sports resources.
He said: “It is instructive to note that this Bill is mostly targeted at the Nigerian Youths. A lot of youths of this great country have great sporting talents and it is of great importance that we put them in an environment that will inspire, motivate and challenge them to first, develop their talents into marketable values that will grant them good earnings and promote revenue generation to the country in form of taxes.
“Secondly, to enable them attain University degrees as it applicable in countries like Germany, Canada and India etcetera.
“In the other hand, the Bill for the establishment of National Sports Commission seeks to foster the development, organization and participation in sporting activities in the country.
“The Commission will undertake the maximal maintenance of all Federal Government sporting facilities across the country.
“It will also be the responsibility of the Commission to provide an instructive information and guide the organization of sports competitions for the country and further broker result oriented public private partnerships (PPP) arrangements targeted at mobilizing resources for promoting participation in sports in the country at both inter-state, national and international levels.
“The Commission would also provide and maintain sports centers for the training of Nigerians as instructors and organizers of sport, thereby, encouraging the commercialization of sports as it is obtained in advanced countries.
“It is expected that when the Bill is passed, assent will be granted and the Commission will commence in earnest in view of its importance to the country’s sports development.
“No doubt, this will change the status of Nigeria sports and bring them in line with international best practice, especially in the areas of sports administration, as well as local and global competitions.