In recognition of his efforts at repositioning sports in Nigeria, with emphasis on the landmark National Sports Industry Policy conceptualised under his stewardship, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare is set to be honoured with the prestigious African Illustrious Award as Minister of the Year.
In a statement released on its behalf by Dr Harris Madueke, the African Illustrious Awards was described as a revered and prestigious African honour, conferred on individuals and organisations who have excelled in leadership, philanthropy, community development, and academia in Africa amongst others.
“The African Illustrious Awards seek to search, discover and recognise highly distinguished Africans who have been outstanding, and exceptional in private and public service. This recognition is in line with our vision to project and promote excellence in Africa, not as an exception, but as a consistent pattern in the modern African experience.
“Under the above, our team of seasoned professionals, distinguished researchers, a special panel, and the public, after due diligence has found the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare worthy to receive the Special Industry Award for Repositioning Sports Through The National Sports Industry Policy,” Madueke emphasised.
It would be recalled that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the Policy in early November 2022. The policy provides the framework for the reclassification of sports from recreation to business. It has been described as the most revolutionary sports document in Nigeria’s history by industry watchers and sports administrators across the country.
The Minister has over the past three years blazed the trail in harnessing Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in sports development through laudable initiatives like Adopt-an-athlete gave grants of between $10,000 to $20,000 to 44 budding athletes; Adopt-a-pitch, that brought back the dilapidated Moshood Abiola Stadium Abuja through a $1m private investment, on-going rehabilitation of National Stadium, Surulere, Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan, amongst other innovative programmes that have boosted sports development in the country.
The award will be formally presented to the Minister at the Oriental Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, the 9th of December, 2022.