The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has declared that the best model to developing Nigerian sports is through Private-Public Partnerships that resonate with what obtains in advanced countries.
The minister made this assertion over the weekend after he visited the Ilaji Sports facilities at Oloyo town Akanran, Ona Ara Local Government Area of Oyo State that he described as world-class.
Speaking after a tour of the facilities which has football pitches, handball court, table Tennis hall, basketball court, golf course, gym, swimming pool, and hotel accommodation, the minister said “These are world-class facilities that compare with what obtains in Europe and other parts of the world where sports is serious business. You have invested so much in these facilities, you may not get the return on your investment now, but you would get it later. These facilities need to be given visibility and put to good use. The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports will be interested in partnering with you so that we can camp our athletes here with minimal distractions”
Dare averred “I will soon be sending some of my Directors here on a tour to inspect the facilities. The Ministry would be willing to partner with you for the benefit of our sports. This is in line with our public, private partnership and new sports industry policy. If we have twenty other Nigerians like you doing this, then we can experience rapid sports development that will groom athletes and bring a return on investment.”
In his response, the proprietor of Ilaji Sports Resort, Engineer Dotun Sanusi said “I feel humbled to have you visit our facilities. This is our little contribution to building future stars for our country. We are ready and available to partner with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development so that these facilities can be put to good use. We have an academy where players from ages 4- 25 train by the weekend. Our vision is to produce future stars for our national teams and those that would also play in Europe. We are still expanding and believe that Nigerian sports can benefit from our noble initiative.”