Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has charged chairmen of the new sports federations caretaker committees to ensure podium finish for Team Nigeria at the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Dare gave the charge on Tuesday in Abuja at the inauguration of the caretaker committees for the 30 national sports federations recently dissolved by the minister.
He explained that the dissolution of the federations became necessary due to the expiration of their tenures.
He stressed the need for all hands to be on deck in view of the fact that the Tokyo Olympics was less than 90 days away.
According to him, most of the chairmen of the dissolved board who performed well also made the new caretaker committees in order to ensure continuity and adequate preparations for the games.
“The Caretaker Committees were specially selected to reflect our aspirations toward podium appearances at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Nigeria has won just one medal in the last two Olympics, the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“This is unacceptable to us as a nation, this is what we must all try to change,” he said.
He said with the quality of athletes Nigeria has, the aim going forward was to match the feat of Atlanta 1996, where Nigeria won six medals, including two gold medals.
“I believe what Nigerians want is for us to better our performance in 1996 and they should support whatever decisions we take that are geared toward achieving that benchmark of 1996 or even surpass it.
“My message to the Caretaker Committees is simple: This is not the time to play politics but the time toward putting Nigeria among the medal winners in Tokyo,’’ he added.
The minister, however, warned that any committee member who tries to sabotage the efforts of the ministry will be removed.
“I want to warn that we will not hesitate to remove any Caretaker Committee of any of the Federations that work at cross purposes with our aspirations,’’ he said.
The Chairman, Caretaker committee for Nigeria Basketball Federation, Musa Kida who responded on behalf of other committee members pledged to ensure professionalism.
He urged the committees, especially of the 10 federations going to the Olympics to double their efforts in the next three months to ensure podium finish for team Nigeria.
Kida assured that the basketball team, which for the first time had both male and female teams qualifying for the Olympics would not disappoint the nation.
Supreme reports that the minister had on Friday dissolved the boards of 30 sports federations and announced the composition of a three-member caretaker committee for each of them.