Opinion: The Khaki and red beret sports legacy – By Solomon Dalung

I have been resisting the temptation by critics to present myself and stewardship to the public as Minister of Youth & Sports Development. I believe that it should be left for posterity but in a society Where the agama lizard fell from iroko tree and those around failed to praise him, he will have to praise himself. Here are some of the modest achievements recorded:

Rehabilitated and put to use the over 20 years abandoned Olympic Swimming pool in National Stadium Surulere Lagos,

Initiated, completed and commissioned 2 mini stadia in Dawakin Kudu Kano, Daura Katsina state, while that of Mabudi in Plateau state is awaiting commissioning,

Completed the abandoned Office of Association of African Olympic Committee, ANOCA in Abuja recently commissioned by Thomas Barch, President of IOC,

Revived the National Youth Games in 2016, abandoned for over 3 years and sustained it,

Revived the National Sports Festival abandoned since 2014, organized the 19th edition tagged “Abuja 2019”successfully. Edo State got the hosting right for the 20th Edition in 2020.

Reviewed and launched in Akure Ondo State on 24/5/ 2019 the National Youth Policy which was due for review since 2012 but unattended.

Revived the National Youth Parliament, youth leadership training program abandoned for 2 years, the fourth edition was inaugurated on in Benin Edo State on 28/5/2019,

Trained over 1,500 youths in different vocational skills, entrepreneurship, peace and conflict resolution and youth empowerment programs with each given a start up capital despite adequate budgetary provisions.

In partnership with ECOWAS trained 20 youths in different vocational skills, entrepreneurship and youth empowerment programs in Benin Republic, Corte Voire, Burkina Fasso, Rwanda etc, all were supported with start up capital,

Democratized elections into the 42 National Sports Federations which set the agenda for transparent and accountable sports administration,

Under my watch Nigeria emerged African Champions in 9 sports, Women Football, Men Basketball, Women Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton, Cricket, Wrestling, Para powerlifting and Taekwando,

The Super Falcons won the 8th and 9th editions of Women Football African Championship in 2016 and 2018 maintaining their dominance as African Champions for 9th conservative times,

Also the Super Falcons qualified for the Women World Cup France 2019 ongoing,

Nigeria under my supervision became the first African Country to qualify to quarter finals in 100 years at WomenBasketball World Cup, Spain 2018,

The D’Tigress African Champions also moved their ranking from 32 to finished 8th in the world,

For the first time in African, Nigeria emerged World Champions in Scrabble in 2015 and won back to back in 2017,

Nigeria is currently holding an unchallenged World record in Para Powerlifting,

Between 2015-2019. Nigeria won over 1,800 medals from different international competitions, a record of none in our sports history,

In 2018, the Super Eagles historically booked a ticket for the World Cup with a match to spare and also became the first African country to qualified for FIFA World Cup Russia without the multi-billion Presidential Task Force.

The U-20 Nigerian Cricket team for the first in history defeated known African Cricket playing nations emerging African Champions and also booked a ticket for World Cup 2019,

Nigeria qualified for 2019 AFCON in Egypt after missing out in subsequent editions.

This humbly represents my stewardship of three and a half years in Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports Development from November 2015- May 2019.

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