Sports can take Nigerian youths away from crime, says Jim Nwobodo
A former Minister of Sports, Senator Jim Nwobodo has joined crusade for the proper development of the country’s sports facilities and institutions, saying the sector could engage millions of Nigerian youths if properly executed.
Speaking at the second Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia Memorial Lecture held at the Main Campus of the University of Abuja yesterday, Nwobodo noted that sports has a huge potential to take Nigerian youths away from crime and make them productive.
The former Anambra State governor explained that unemployment has become a very big issue in Nigeria, adding that the youth are gradually losing faith in the Nigerian state because they are not engaged productively.
According to him: “Foreign Exchange earnings is one area that our sports men and women have demonstrated beyond argument that a lot can be achieved considering the amount of money they earn as super stars.”He noted that one of the greatest advantages sports provide is the transformation of ordinary people into instant national icons and super stars.
“I am an example of what I am talking about. As the chairman of Rangers International Football Club of Enugu in the 1970s, it was sports and football that helped to make me governor when I was elected the first civilian governor of old Anambra State in 1979.”
“The success of Rangers robbed off on me handsomely. When the time for politics came, I needed no introduction since I was already well known,” he disclosed.
The former minister of sports also maintained that developing the capabilities of Nigerian youths in all sporting fields and helping them to excel are very critical options to raise the tempo of the country’s economic development.