President of the Nigeria Olympic Commission (NOC) Engr. Sani Ndanusa has described year 2013 as a year of reshaping and re-engineering of the Nigerian sports sector.
Following Nigeria’s dismal performance at the London 2012 Olympic, where the nation failed to grace the podium, Ndanusa believes 2014 would be a better year for the nation’s sports as athletes have been tasked to justify the efforts of the National Sports Commission (NSC) towards reviving the culture of adequate preparation for championships.
“I must say that 2013 has been a year of reshaping and what I will call re-engineering of the entire sports sector in Nigeria and definitely you cannot say that without giving kudos to the Sports Minister, Hon Bolaji Abdullahi and the entire team of the National Sports Commission ( NSC) because we came out from a very difficult 2012 where our Olympic outing was not good,” the NOC boss to Sports Vanguard in a recent interview in Yenagoa.
“I am glad that we are using that as an experience because you learn from winning and you also learn from failure. So this is the first time that we are having this kind of experience. It is gingering us to now come up with another way of doing things. Really, it has not been business as usual.
“The most important one is of course, the realisation that Olympic Games is a world class championship. Globally, it is the highest and for you to pick any medal there, it means that you are the best in the world and we are talking about competing among 209 countries in the world that have structures on ground, that have a lot of funding.”
The Federal Government has proposed to spend N5.546 billion on the nation’s sport sector in the year 2014. If the National Assembly passes the Appropriation Bill into law, the commission is expected to use N100 million for the maintenance of high performance centre- a project which will be supervised by the newly appointed foreign coaches- among many other proposals.
Ndanusa lauded the NSC for the introduction of the high performance centre saying: “Kudos again go to the fact that we are going to have our High Performance Centre where at least, we can have close to the world class Olympic standard facilities and equipment for training and also get attracted to world class coaches.
“These coaches of course know their way and they expose the athletes to big competitions and also the ranking issues because ranking matters.
“Once you are on top of the rankings within the world class in any of the sports disciplines, you know it’s going to favour you. It is a different case when you are not within the top rankings because you will face the toughest competitors before winning a medal in the Olympics.”
He added: “Most importantly, we at the NOC are working hard to meet up with our time line and all the requirements. Preparation towards the forthcoming Commonwealth Games has started already.
“So we are meeting up with all the time line in terms of the technical, logistic and accommodation issues. The preparation has started already I can assure you , no mistake. I must also thank the NSC for making most of the arrangements easier and early enough, especially in the areas of accommodations which have been paid and the tickets also acquired.
“The athletes Village for Nigerian athletes has been located. I must say that we are on ground.”