Again, Your Excellency I begin with another old saying from where I come from in Nigeria. A blind man will find difficulty in believing another person testimony that his protector of several years was really his kidnapper.
One of Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi cronies in rebuttal to my to you believed that to head a Ministry of Sports a degree from Mass Communication and English is adequate. Your Excellency, before going too far on this second part of my letter directed at solutions, I respectfully ask, if this is the qualification held by Mr. Abdullahi, how possible can we expect any managerial, budgeting or sports specific skills from him?
This appointment is a major mistake and it shows from his cronies resorting to grammar and sentence structure arguments in Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi defense of destroying sports.
Your Excellency, Mr. Abdullahi cronies noted severally in the media that how do I find time to meddle with the country’s problem unless I’m jobless. Your Excellency, John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for the country”. In that respect, one hour of my past times to write about the future of the country is my civic duty and its every Nigerian duty. Your Excellency, I believe that you share such view, but I cannot say the same for Mr. Abdullahi and his cronies at this point.
Your Excellency, even the goal of NSC on its website is questionable as well, however, what I think are needed and critical at this point are listed below because Mr. Abdullahi is simply creating firewalls among stakeholders:
- Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi must be re-assigned immediately because he simply got no idea of what’s required of him and what’s going on, either administratively or athletically in the country. His aides and cronies were simply directing him in the same path that brought the country shame in London;
- Sports Ministry must from now on be controlled as a Commission in the real sense, that is, Commissioners (at least 6) must be appointed where the Chairman must have legal and administrative skills (preferably past Attorney General from any state);
- All past procurements must be probed because majority of them violated Procurement Act of 2007, as such criminal charges should follow;
- All spending by NSC must be frozen, to give way for new structure to be determined by new Commissioners. I delivered the new structure to Mr. Abdullahi;
- All federations must be audited before NSC do away from further dealing with them;
- Appointing a novice in administration or accounting at sports Ministry must end;
- National Institute for Sports must be handed over to Education Ministry;
- Facilities procurement and maintenance must no longer be handle by NSC;
- Below is the proposed new structure previously delivered to Mr. Abdullahi.
Your Excellency, below is excerpt from my published copyright materials supplied to the Minister. Hopefully every Nigerian can find just two hours every week to help as well.
7.1 NSC Goals
“NSC sport philosophy aimed at exhibition of innate physical attribute and poverty alleviation is simply wrong and discriminatory because it ignored capable athletes with mental challenges and those lacking financial woes. NSC philosophy must be targeted across all section of Nigeria’s population.
And its goal should simply be to aid sports development across the country and present national teams at international engagements.”
7.2 Organisational Structure
“Ideally, the structure of NSC should begin with a team of commissioners at the top to implement Federal Government plan for the industry. That team must include representative from Ministries of Transport, Works, Education, Finance, Police (or other security agencies) along with NSC leader…” “…because those other Ministries representative must be on board to oversee needs and necessity of NSC. For example, issue of budgets can be resolved earlier in professional manner where the issue of N4Million borehole or N400Million for soft drinks machine will never have occurred…”.
Below are identifiable areas that NSC should focus on in trimming down waste and duplication of functions that can be effectively supplied by other Ministries. NSC can operate effectively with just 22 staffs on full time basis along with contract service providers on ad hoc schemes. And it’s very convenient for the commission to note the advantages of trimming staff at or near 30 years of public service.
The operational direction of NSC can continue to be handled by a merit based appointed Director-General with at the very least a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) along with accounting or audit credentials. The incumbent may also have sports background as participant or administrator which can be a bonus because it alleviates the necessity to train the Director-General (DG) in certain technical areas.
This DG should be assisted by no more than three deputies in areas of (1) Administration / Finance, (2) Technical – sports and (3) Facilities.
7.2.2 Administration / Finance
Under general direction and supervision of DG, this Deputy Director-General (DDG) handles all issues of employees, funding (budget, spending, grants, etc.), trips and other functions based on data and advice from DDG-technical and Facilities. This position requires an accounting or finance qualification and advanced Business Degree.
This department should be assisted by Accounting Manager, Personnel Manager, Marketing / Promotions Manager and Purchasing Manager. Each of these roles can further have the services of no more than 4 clerical assistants where 2 of them should be assigned to the Accounting Manager.
Under the DG and direct general focus of the commissioners, this function is the heart and soul of NSC. The incumbent provides the technical direction of NSC in terms of local and international programs based on consultation with all states commissioners of sports and education, community or local governments, Federal Ministry of Education, coaches and many others.
This DDG will handle all issues of sports development from pre-school to postgraduate or non-graduate. This position will be assisted by 1 individual each for international engagements, local development and institutional (primary schools to Universities).
This DDG supervises existing federally owned sports facilities and from now on will identify areas that need improvements or new facility but he has no control over contracts or execution of any contract. NSC will no longer handle those functions rather Ministry of Works following NSC requisition by DG. 6 regional managers will assist this DDG.