By Isaac Olamikan
Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has sworn in a new commissioner and inaugurated the Edo State Sports Commission.
The new Commissioner is Mr Dele Obaitan. The governor, during the swearing-in/inauguration, at the Government House, Benin City, urged public officials to make impactful contributions to the development of the state.
Addressing the new Commissioner, Obaseki noted, “You are going to be overseeing Culture, and it is related to Diaspora Affairs. We want Edo to be a hub of tourism. Traffic is already building in Edo as over a million people are coming into the state. We project that in three years, five million will come, The Trumpet, gathered.
“You have access to resources that can be brought to help us redefine where we are going,” he added.
Obaseki continued: “Yusuf Ali, the Chairman of the Edo Sports Commission has excelled, both locally and internationally. In Edo, we have to catch them young in sports. Almost a million of our young generation are under the age of 12. We must rethink sports and catch them young.
“40 years ago, government regulated, operated, and participated in sports, putting all the resources required into sports. Our emphasis today, as a government, is to continue to provide policy direction for sports.”
Noting that there’s a lot of money outside government to finance and sustain sports, the governor said his administration was redesigning the state’s sports policy and creating new laws to regulate sports, and bring competent persons to help manage sports in the state.
He further noted, “Edo State can start now to prepare for a global market in sports by identifying young talents in schools and catching them young. In five years, the state can train about 10,000 to 20,000 talents and if 1,000 of these talents become global stars, the state will benefit greatly.
“I am glad you have accepted to serve but I advise you to separate politics from sports if we must succeed in our plans. We should excel in all areas of sports as we continue to invest in sports development.”
Chairman of the Edo State Sports Commission, Yusuf Ali pledged that his team will do their best to transform sports in Edo.