A university for sports is now needed to harvest the energy of Nigeria’s teeming youth population for economic boost. Honour Sirawoo, the new president of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), made the call last week in Port Harcourt.
Speaking with BusinessDay at the international airport, the new SWAN president said sports was the fastest means to diversify the economy, if properly managed, “because it does not need too much money, education and challenge to manage.”
Sirawoo pointed out that the era of oil boom was over and can never come again, because the oil, the Nigerian economy was dependent on, was a perishable commodity. “Oil will surely finish like it had at Oloibiri in Bayelsa State, where it was first discovered. The only option and a permanent solution to avoid economy recession, was via sports.”
He emphasised that the sports university, if established, would develop talents and would manage the sports administration in the country to make profit.
According to him, the said university of sports campus could be spread across the six geo political zones in the country according to their abilities and talents. “For example, Swimming Faculty should be sited at the Niger Delta, Boxing at the South West because of their abundant facilities there and athletics in the North because of the topography of the place.”
Sports he insisted, holds sway to the development of the nation’s economy faster than even agricultural Industry.
He gave example of Christian Ronaldo to buttress his point. According to him, the said Ronaldo earned about E600m after a 120 minutes game in Real Madrid. This amount, when converted into Naira, IS about N2b.
Nigeria through the suggested University of Sports and its administration should aim at producing at least 20 Ronaldos and that their impact on the nation’s economy would be greater than what oil brings into the nation as at now.
Apart the impact the sports University would have in the country, it will also address the issues of lack of wealth and jobs and curb youth restiveness because if you engage them in certain things, they cannot do go into smoking and drunkenness nor keep late nights nor womanize” he added
On the difference between the university and the sports academies in the country, the SWAN president said the university would be a national one while the sports institutes belonged to individuals.
“If the government is in it, they could bring in foreign instructors to manage it because the future is in sports and it is the good for blacks”, he added, saying it is capable of getting bad boys out of the creeks into good venture.