By Naomi Sharang
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Sports Commission Bill on Wednesday scaled second reading in the Senate.
This followed the presentation of the general principles of the bill by the sponsor, Sen. Philip Aduda (PDP-FCT) at plenary.
Leading the debate, Aduda, said that the bill was read for the first time on March 28.
He said that the bill essentially sought to establish the FCT Sports Commission to be charged with the responsibility of administering, encouraging and developing sports and games in FCT.
Aduda also said that the function of the commission would be to coordinate and integrate efforts to raise the standard of performance in sports in the FCT.
“To promote in cooperation with other sports bodies or sports groups, the physical fitness and general well-being of all persons in the FCT,” he said.
Aduda said that the FCT had suffered greatly from disconnect that existed between sports history and current performances.
“We need to recognise the fact that our history was created for a reason and that the best of our future truly lies on how we are able to manage historical events and pass it on from one generation to the other,” he said.
Aduda said that the bill sought to change FCT’s sports fortunes in-line with international best practices, especially in the areas of sports administration and global competitions.
Supporting the bill, Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi) said that sport was no longer a mere source of recreation but an activity people could earn a living.
Adeyemi, also Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, said that sport was a source of revenue earning for communities across the globe.
He said that there was a need more than ever to give the needed attention to the development of sports in Nigeria.
“There is a need to deliberately encourage the development of sporting activities in the country as a way of discovering the hidden talents of younger generation in this nation who could represent us in international competitions.
“All these can only be achieved and enhanced when we have a sports commission in place which will help in administration and policy formulation and implementation of policies of sports development.
“There is no amount of money that is too small or sufficient enough to develop sporting activities,”he said.
Also speaking, Sen. Uche Ekwunife (PDP-Anambra) said that the FCT already had a department for sports.
“FCT is being considered as a state a should have a commission, an agency that should take care of the activities of sports in the territory,” he said.
In his remarks, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan refered the bill to the committee on Sports and Youth Development for further legislative work and to report back in four weeks.(NAN)