Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, has revealed that the ministry is to choose six universities in the six geo political zones as centres of sporting excellence.
Dare, who disclosed this on Tuesday in Ilorin while speaking with pressmen, stated that the universities are prime canidates, considering their multi-sports facilities in a particular location.
“We plan to identify one university in each of the six geo political zones and confer on them centres of excellence. There will be a committee to look into the entries. The chosen universities will have partnership with the ministry and will be linked with other universities in Europe and America.
“Private investors would come into the selected universities to build facilities,” the Minister stated.
While citing examples of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo and the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife that had given trials to talented students seeking admission, the Minister Stated that the scheme would build durable partnership between sports and academics.
He also explained that funding was the main challenge facing sports development in the country, adding that expectations from Nigerians were very high.
“Nigeria is a sports loving nation, and though sports development in this country has had challenges, there is hope for a brighter future. Sports development has had a trajectory truncation of funding but there has never been dearth of talents in Nigeria.
“We want to build a business model around sports because sports is big business and we intend to make it big business in Nigeria,” the Minister said.