Dr Manna Insists Sports In NIgeria Cannot Become Big Business Without Constitutional Backing

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By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna

Unless NIgeria takes a departure from the past, there would be no meaningful impact in sports becoming a big business in the country.

Top sports administrator, consultant and retired big shot from the National Institute for Sports (NIS), Dr. Alex Manna expressed this in an interview with newsmen on the sidelines of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development North West Zone Seminar on National Sports Industry (Changing the face of Sports in Nigeria) on Thursday at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.

“We cannot regulate sports and make it a big business without legislation. No article talks about sports in our constitution.

“We need to regulate first before seeing sports as a business. I was expecting Dalung to do that as a legal luminary but he didn’t do that, the first thing to do is look at it from the level of legislation.

“We can’t do anything if we don’t have a place to hold anyone to ransom for doing wrong. Are we reviewing policies as at when due?” he queried.

Manna tasked the ministry to take a bold step in ensuring that the constitutional issues are first taken care of.

“The theme, “Sports as a business in modern times” is a good topic but I would like to remodel it to sports as an industry. For now we are lagging behind as an industry.

“The ministry should look at that and take sports as a business to become one of the GDP earners for our country with several budding talents,” he advised.

The former NIS strong man further advised that policy should be churned out on how sports can be regulated.

“When we had problems with football, we did not have where to adjudicate.

“We should take serious business serious first,” he stressed.

NIS where Dr. Manna made a name for himself, is a specialized Sports Institution. It is a Parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

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