President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Mr Ibrahim Gusau, said federations would be rid of mismanagement when government truly grants independence to National Sports Federations (NSFs).
Gusau said this in a statement signed by Mr Siminialayi Pepple, the Director General of AFN, while commending the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare on his decision to pursue the independence of NSFs.
It was reported that recently, the minister said that the federal government was working toward granting independence to NSFs.
Gusau said that the independence of NSFs would check those clamouring to administer sports but whose focus was to mismanage the funds that government put into sports as sponsors would protect their funds.
The AFN President, who is also the President of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Region II as well as Vice President of the CAA, said independence of NSFs conformed to best international practices.
He noted that sports in the country would only develop, and private sector attracted to sponsorship as it ought to if its administration was handed over to interested and selfless individuals with government supervision.
“There is a world of difference between interference and supervision. We reiterate our position of AFN autonomy at the Congress of the Federation to enable it realise its mandate and potential.
“The AFN is mindful of the fact that to abandon the full funding of sports in the hands of government will stunt the growth of athletics,” he said.
Gusau however, pointed out that several attempts by the federation to attract sponsorship from individuals and corporate organisations were met with the same response of no sponsorship with government direct management.
The AFN President assured Nigerians that his administration was poised to return athletics to its original leading place in the history of Nigerian sports.
He expressed confidence in the ability of Team Nigeria to return with a minimum of two gold medals whenever the 2020 Olympic Games hold.