Ogun State Former Youths and Sports Commissioner, Bukola Olopade says sports in the state is in the stage of commatose in the past six years and urgently needs serious funding to revive the sector for it to regain the lost glory as one of the leading states in Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National League(NNL) who expressed his displeasure at a forum organized by the State Chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria(SWAN) at its secretariat in the MKO Abiola International Stadium in Abeokuta, charged the Senator Ibikunle Amosun led administration to focus more on human capacity development by engaging thousands of jobless youths in sporting activities similar to what he(Olopade) did during the immediate past administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
Olopade asked the State Government to re-activate competitions which include, Gateway Tertiary Institutions Games(GATIG) ,zonal sporting competitions among the four divisions of Egba, Ijebu,Remo and Yewa and other catch them championships to discover raw talents that will represent the state at the National Sports Festival and other national championships.
Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation(NWBF), President suggested to the state government to task its contractors handling various roads and infrastructural projects in the state to raise money to fund these sporting events.
According to him, “Ogun State Government orgainize competition without spending a dim by just raising as much as #10million to fund at least GATIG for athletes in various tertiary institutions to compete among themselves”
“The successful hosting of the Gateway Games 2006 is one of the legacies of Daniel’s administration which should have been sustained by the present admnistration to discover great athletes”, he insisted.
He however lauded the governor for replacing the titan track with mundo track at the MKO Abiola International Stadium in Abeokuta, promising to lure the Athletic Fedeartion of Nigeria(AFN) to host its competitions in the city.
Olopade also praised the State Youths and Sports Commissioner, Afolabi Afuape for some of the recent achievements,despite the lean resources of the ministry and expressed confidence in the commissioner ability to sports to next level in the state.
The Youths and Sports Commissioner then solicitated for the support of the corporate organizations and wealthy individuals at complimenting government effort at developing sports in the state.