Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Enugu State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Lloyd Ekweremadu, has said the state government was determined to improve its sporting records.
Ekweremadu made this disclosure at the grand finale of the Sports Writer’s Assocation of Nigeria (SWAN), Enugu chapter Week at the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) press center Enugu.
The Commissioner, who was represented by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry, Dan Onwuegbuna, said the government will bring back school sports and other grassroots sports programmes with collaboration of private sectors.
He said the result is due to the new state sports policy document which represents a fundamental shift in the role of sports within the state.
“It will transit from being recreational pursuit of becoming a potent economic contribution to both development and social cohesion.
“The visionary policy is the culmination of preliminary consultations and engagements with a diverse range of stakeholders.
“The policy is designed to accomplish two main objectives, industrialisation and economic development.
“Our vision is to reposition Enugu State as a prominent centre where sports serve as a unifying force, promote good health, fitness and economic development,” he said.
Ekweremadu said the policy was rooted in four values which are fair play, inclusiveness, empowerment and economic development.
He noted that the ministry realised the imperative of partnering with SWAN to hasten the achievements of the goals in the sports sector.
In his keynote speech, Chief Steve Oruruo former Special Adviser (SA) on Information, advised Sports Writers to always report sports activities without fear or favour to enhance sports development.
Oruruo gave the advise while speaking on the topic, “The role of sports journalists in advancing sports development through objective reportage.”
The SA noted that sports has played a huge role in conflict resolutions among countries as it promotes peace and unity in country and unites the world together.
Oruruo mentioned embezzlement and misappropriation of sports funds as one of the factors bedeviling the sports sector in Nigeria, and called on the government at all level to prioritise sports.
Chairman of the Occasion, Ray Nnaji, who was the former Commissioner for Youths and Sports urged Sports Writers Association of Nigeria to avoid bias in their reportage.
Nnaji who was represented by Mr Foster Chime called on the reporters to be independent in doing their job to avoid being compromised by the government of the day.
Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman SWAN, Enugu chapter, Mr Gideon Iwueke, welcomed everybody for making out time to honour the invitation.
He thanked the Awardees for their selfless efforts in ensuring that sports remain the tool for peace and unity in the state and nation at large.