by Salifu Usman
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has commenced the implementation of the newly created departments in the Ministry following the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation’s approval for the restructuring of the Ministry.
The restructuring which consists of the collapse of the existing Planning, Monitoring and Information (PMI) Department, establishment of Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS) Department, upgrading of the headship of Lagos Liaison Office, also led to the creation of the National Sports Festival and Para-Sports (NSFPS) Department.
The minister of youth and sports development, Mr Sunday Dare, said the approval for the creation of the new department to cater for the growing needs of para-sports in Nigeria, was based on the impressive performances of the athletes at various national and international competitions over the years.
With this development, he said, “it is expected that attention will be focused on other Para Sports that have not had the opportunity of showcasing their talents, let alone participating in major sporting events either locally or internationally.”
The Minister who has passionate support for Para-Sports, explained that it has become necessary to create a dedicated medium to coordinate, promote and manage the development of Para – Sports in Nigeria.
This, he said, will make it possible to utilize sports as a veritable tool for accelerated social integration and inclusion of persons living with disabilities, in line with the Ministry’s deliverables on 9 points priority areas of Government.
According to a press statement signed by the director of press and public relations Sports, Dare stated further that the Ministry firmly believes that, with adequate attention and investment, Para- Athletes will not only enjoy new phase of life and livelihood but also enhance Nigeria’s chances of winning more medals at future International Competitions and Games.
He therefore called on corporate bodies, all well-meaning Nigerians and relevant stakeholders to support and invest in Para Sports Athletes, stressing that the Ministry remains committed to providing new opportunities for Para-Sports development in Nigeria.