Thursday, 3 September 2015

Sports Development Reforms:How they have significantly improved the quantity and quality of service delivery, especially in football.

Problem: Nigeria’s sporting fortunes declined before and immediately after 2010. For instance, in 2011, Nigeria failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 25 years.

Reform Actions:
Presidential Retreat on Sports 
- Code of Governance and Election Guidelines for National Sports Federations 
- ‘Traffic Light Funding’ 
- High Performance Sports Directorate 
- Sports Development Fund 
- Reforms of the National Sports Festival 
- National Youth Under-17 Games 
- Accelerated hearing of the National Sports Commission bill at the National Assembly 
- ‘From Playground to Podium’ scheme 
- ‘Rhythm ‘N’ Play’ scheme 
- Reforming the National Institute for Sport (NIS) 
- Transfer of ownership of stadia to state governments 

Main Achievements: The sports reforms have significantly improved the quantity and quality of service delivery, especially in football. The Super Eagles won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after 19 years and came third in the 2014 Championship of African Nations. Nigeria qualified for the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil. The Golden Eaglets won the Under 17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 and finished second at the U-17 African Championship in Morocco in 2013. The Flying Eagles finished third at U-20 African Championship in Algeria in 2013 and qualified for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The reforms have also improved access to sports for people with disabilities, as demonstrated by the success of Nigeria in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Key Challenges: 
(a) excessive interference of government officials in coaching decisions; 
(b) limited collaboration between the sports ministry and the education sector; 
(c) low deployment of sports science; and 
(d) low private sector interest in funding sporting activities. 

Reference:  Public Service Reforms in Nigeria (1999-2014) - A Comprehensive Review

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