The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe has urged use of sports and culture to create a positive image for Nigeria.
Runsewe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that sports, especially Nigerian Olympians were the greatest asset to rebranding the country.
The NCAC D-G disclosed this on the sidelines of the Nigeria Olympians Association (NOA) banquet award in Abuja.
He stressed the need to leverage on Nigeria’s great sports heroes to transform the country.
“Our Olympians are the greatest asset that has helped this country in so many areas and sectors.
“I am worried because after the civil war, our then leaders said we should take two brands sports and culture to unite us, but we seem to be neglecting it,” he said.
Runsewe who decried the lack of proper welfare for both serving and retired athletes, called for a more robust approach to sports development in the country.
He maintained that sports if properly managed could lead to massive employment of Nigerian youths and reduction in crime rate across the country.
“Today, so many of our sports men and women are forgotten and not taken care of.
“Do you know with sports, crime can be reduced drastically in Nigeria, do you know with sports we can build a new image for this country.
“Our greatest problem is that we don’t celebrate our best,” he added.
Runsewe emphasised the need for states and local governments to compliment efforts of the Federal Government in making sports a tool for socio-economic development of the nation.
He said the NCAC would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders to rebuild and relaunch Nigeria into global reckoning. (NAN)