The newly-appointed sports minister, Solomon Dalung, has said that his top priority is to eradicate corruption in sports before he can push for extra funds in the budget of the sports ministry.
In this exclusive interview with Aderonke Bello of Naij.com, he assured Nigerians of sports development with emphasis on grassroots sports and schools games. The ex-university lecturer also revealed his intentions to increase the welfare package of athletes development
Dalung: I am a retired prisons officer with 25 years experience, I have also served as a personal adviser and adviser emeritus to the late president of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, Late Chief Solomon Lar, subsequently, I lectured in the university of Jos for a period of seven years in international law, I am a lawyer by training and I produced great men as lecturers some of them are even executive governors of states today. I have been a chairman of my native local government and subsequently I have engaged myself in human rights advocacy, social justice and as an anti-corruption crusader, so I coupled it up with joining politics in contemporary times.
Well, having exposed myself to all these, I am familiar with basic Nigerian system whether from the creative system where I started up to the intelligentsia, academic system or down to the local government, the grassroots administration or up to where I am as a minister today of course, I served in the transition committee that took over power and handed it over to President Muhammadu Buhari. So, I believe my experience is sufficient enough to be translated into my new responsibility as a minister of youths and sports development
Dalung: But, I have not been too close to sports generally, specifically but I have also been too close to football especially letting into the internal wranglings that has characterised the football and the issue of corruption that is also so not pronounced. I think sports should be taken holistically that is the essence of trying to promote national unity and integration lest we forget football contribute, sports ministry is more of less like an embassy it relates with other countries of the world.
Dalung: I am not going to focus specifically on anything neither don’t want to lay claim to monopoly of knowledge, the best way in public administration generally is to create the opportunity for the key actors with whom you intend to govern so that you can derive from their reasoning and thinking on how their own opinions, their believe in the system can be managed better. There are several sports federations and Solomon Dalung can’t have knowledge than all the federations, we need the stakeholders engagements involving even donor agencies and sponsors, we come together and cluster and talk about ideas and come to con-census as to the best way with which sports can be generally administer in Nigeria.