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President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Ibrahim Gusau, has said that the autonomy of National Sports Federations (NSFs) will to a large extent nip the various irregularities and strengthen the role of transparency in Nigerian sports.
Recall that the minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare said that the federal government was working toward granting independence to NSFs.
The AFN president, in a statement signed by Director General of AFN, Siminialayi Pepple, commended sports minister on his decision to pursue the independence of NSFs.
Gusau said that the independence of NSFs would check those clamouring to administer sports but whose focus was to mismanage the funds that government put into sports as sponsors would protect their funds and bring about integrity in the sporting sector.
Gusau, who is also the president of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Region II as well as vice President of the CAA, said independence of NSFs conformed to best international practices.
“There is a world of difference between interference and supervision. We reiterate our position of AFN autonomy at the Congress of the Federation to enable it realise its mandate and potential.
He noted that sports in the country would only develop, and private sector attracted to sponsorship as it ought to if its administration was handed over to interest and selfless individuals with government supervision.
“The AFN is mindful of the fact that to abandon the full funding of sports in the hands of government will stunt the growth of athletics,” he said.
Gusau however, pointed out that several attempts by the federation to attract sponsorship from individuals and corporate organisations were met with the same response of no sponsorship with government direct management.
The AFN boss assured Nigerians that his administration is poised to return Athletics to its original leading place in the history of Nigerian Sports as he expressed confidence in the ability of Team Nigeria to return with a minimum of 2 Gold Medals whenever the 2020 Olympic Games holds.