The Minister of State Federal Capital Territory Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu has expressed the administration’s readiness to work with relevant stakeholders in uplifting the face of sports within the nation’s capital.
Dr Tijjani who spoke when she hosted a delegation of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), FCT chapter led by Comrade Ndubueze Chidoka in her office said athletes’ welfare are now top in the priority of the current administration.
Ahead of the 2020 National Sports Festival scheduled for Edo, the minister who didn’t mince words announced that all outstanding arrears of athletes have been approved, and that the Permanent Secretary Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Mr Chinyeaka Ohaa will head a committee to look into poaching issues in FCT.
She said, “I must sincerely appreciate the effort of the leadership of SWAN in sustaining the development of sports in Nigeria, and FCT in particular. SWAN leadership in FCT has shown commitment and charisma in the discharge of its professional duties.
“We also work together with our sports department and SWAN to fully revive sports in FCT which will go a long way in taking the young boys and girls off the street.
“Under my watch, the issue of poaching will be a thing of the past. A committee that will look into the issue of poaching will be set up, and the permanent Secretary will head it. I also assure early release of funds, and improved welfare for FCT athletes ahead of the upcoming national sports festival.”
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Mr Ohaa who described the FCT Minister of state as young and vibrant mother, confirmed that already athletes’ arrears and subsequent rewards for future national competition have been sorted out.
Earlier, SWAN Chairman in FCT, Comrade Chidoka, eulogised the current administration for its youthful development programmes which he said would go a long way in curbing youth restiveness within the capital territory.
He told the minister that in the recent past, athletes have been deserting FCT due to poor welfare and reward packages, adding, “It is our desire that you will use the coming National Sports Festival to rewrite history.”
Acting Secretary, Social Development Secretariat Chief Mrs Dilichukwu Onyedinma, was among top FCTA officials present during the visit.
Highlight of the visit was presentation of uniquely designed SWAN T-shirt and complimentary card to the Minister.