Benin City – As part of efforts aimed at re-inventing the golden era in sports, Edo State Government has organized a retreat for members of the newly constituted Edo State Sports Commission, with a mandate to evolve a master plan that will accelerate sports development across the State, for the actualization of the present administration’s MEGA Agenda.

The sports-loving Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, while declaring open a two-day retreat in Lagos, charged members of the Commission to instiutionalize a culture of sporting excellence, professionalism and private sector collaboration.

He stated that: “the vision of our administration is to instiutionalize a sporting culture of excellence as a vehicle to connect the people, particularly our teeming youths”.

Shaibu noted that, it was the expectation of Government for the Commission to serve as a formidable bridge, connecting all ministries, departments and agencies of government as well as the grassroots.

According to the State number two citizen:”we want the Commission to set up international best practice and professional standard in sports administration, among the comity of States in Nigeria”.

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“The Commission should be self-sustaining and must not look up to government for funds.lnfact, we want you to know this from day one and not depend on government for money”.
The Deputy Governor further affirmed: ” as a Government, what we have done is to open the doors of opportunities for you to enter.Once you enter and you are in, we don’t tell you what to do with the opportunities you find there”.

He asserted that,for sports to grow and fully develop in Nigeria,the private sector must be actively involved in providing the needed funds, as government alone, cannot adequately fund the sector.

He added:”we want you to know that sports should be private sector driven. It’s no longer for recreation as it were,but serious business.What we are doing is to provide the enabling environment that will engender the potentials of our sports men and women, generate employment and enhance economic prosperity.That we have done to a very large extent”.

The retreat themed : “A Fresh Start”, held at the serene Lakowe Lakes & Resorts in Lagos State, had in attendance, members of the Edo State Sports Commission, led by the Executive Chairman, Mr.Yusuf Ali.

The retreat was coordinated by the Chief Executive Officer, Sport Connect,Dr. Kweku Tandoh,who led a team of resource persons drawn from a pool of renowned technocrats, administrators, professionals and consultants in sports management.