Senator Ogba advocates establishment of federal varsity of sports, Nkalagu, National Sports Commission

… Enumerates benefits of the varsity, commission

The Chairman Senate Committee on Sports and Youth Development, Senator Obinna J. Ogba, has advocated for the establishment of a Federal University of Sports in Nkalagu, Ebonyi state and establishment a National Sports Commission.

Speaking Thursday in Abuja, during the public hearing on the two Bills, which he sponsored, Senator Ogba said that, among others, the university, when established, will provide employment opportunities for youths, revealing that the bill for the establishment of a National Sports Commission was passed by the Senate in the 8th Assembly, but that President Muhammadu Buhari did not assent to it, hence its return to status quo ante.

He said: “Recall that the Bill for the establishment of Federal University of Sports was sponsored by my humble self and read for the first time on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, 5th November 2019, while the 2nd reading was on 19th May 2021, and later refered to this Committee, hence this public hearing.

“Also, the second Bill was conceived to facilitate the establishment of National Sports Commission, which shall be an agency of government officially empowered by law with the responsibility of effective administration and promotion of sports and games development throughout Nigeria. As we all know, this same Bill was sponsored by me in the 8th National Assembly and passed by the Senate, but because Mr. President did not assent to it, we had to return to status quo ante.

“Thus, 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 the youths of our nation can particularly be developed in various sporting activities in an academically charged environment.

The objectives of the University of Sports, among others, includes: 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, 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 with the aim of producing socially mature men and women with capability not only to understand the use and adapt existing technologies in the sports, but to improve on them and develop new ones.

“It will act as agents and catalysts, through Post-Graduate training, research and innovation for the effective and economic utilization, exploitation and conservation of the country’s sports resources, offer to the general population, particularly in the area of sports, as a form of public service, the results of training and research and to foster the practical application of these results.

“It will establish appropriate relationships with other national institutions involved in training, research and development of technologies in the Sports Sector, identify the promote sound basic scientific training as a foundation for the development of sports in Nigeria, taking into account indigenous cultures and the need to enhance national unity.”

He added: “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, and, secondly, to enable them attain University degrees as it applicable in countries like Germany, Canada and India, etcetera. 

“On 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.”

Continuing, he said: “May I at this juncture, urge my distinguished colleagues and the general public here present that both Bills are here staring at us to see what our voices are in shaping the history of sports and youth development in Nigeria. I am highly persuaded that it will be a great disservice to our nation if these bills fail to see the light of the day. 

“At this point, let me kindly inform us that posterity will either judge us right or wrong, depending on the side we take and what becomes the joint decision of this august gathering. I therefore, sincerely implore each and every one of us seated here today to be part of making this history, bearing in mind that this will help in shaping the future of our youths and sports development.

“Just as I have always said, my colleagues and I in this 9th Assembly are all sports loving people including the President of the Senate, and we are committed in making sure that Sport Development in Nigeria is achieved and improved.”

Blueprint reports that the two Bills are titled “A bill for an Act to establish the Federal University of Sports Nkalagu, Ebonyi state to make comprehensive provision for its due management and administration and other related matters 2021 (sb. 138) and 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)”.

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