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Okoli bemoans lack of Sports Development in Nigeria
FORMER President of the Special Sports Federation of Nigeria, Ikechukwu Cosmas Okoli has identified lack of developmental programmes as the bane of sports in the country. Okoli who was at the helm of affairs of Paralympic Sports between 1995 to 2001, accused sports administrators in the country of failing to put up a sports development programme that will accelerate and nurture athletes to stardom.
“Nigeria is not paying good attention to athletes. We don’t run programmes that can fish out talents and bring the desired positive impact on them. We have abundant talents both in able and disabled sports but the motivations capacity is nothing to write home about. "How many school sports do we run well in this country? Daniel Igali never won a medal for Nigeria at the Olympics but won a gold medal when he competed for Canada at Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Even the football we make noise, we're not where we supposed to be on the international ranking table.
Okoli who won two gold medal in Table Tennis at the Cairo '91 All African Games wants the Federal Government to give tax concession to Corporate Organizations that sponsors sports event in a bid to encourage more support for sports. “I advocated at a time that sponsorship of sports should attract tax concession. The National Assembly should enact a law for tax waivers for organizations that invest in sports sponsorship. There is no way government can fund sports alone, it is not possible, this is one of the reasons why private organizations should come in.
The former Special Sports Federation boss also debunks insinuation that he has finally dumped sports for business. He said he left sports due to the hostile attitude of officials from the Ministry of sports.
“I didn’t get cooperation from the ministry officials. I wanted to form the Nigeria Paralympics Committee but my effort was frustrated by the sports ministry officials in 2001.Share
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