Stop appointing non-sportsmen as sports ministers ― Masai Ujiri

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Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri during a press conference at media day at the BioSteel Centre.  Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The President of Toronto Raptors’ basketball operations Masai Ujiri, has said Nigeria must stop appointing non-professional sports ministers based on political considerations. This ensures that the country’s largest and most productive population are denied the quality leadership at the policy level that unleashes their great potentials.

Speaking alongside the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, at the launch of the Nigeria Exchange (NGX) Group, Masai said the nation must take its youths and sports very seriously for the nation to achieve its economic and political potentials as they remain the country’s surest path to global success.

Describing the National Stadium, Lagos, as an eyesore, Masai, who in 2003 founded “Giants of Africa” to discover basketball talent, and once served as director of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Africa, wondered why such a great piece of real estate has not become income-generating like other sports complexes the world over.

He pointed to what has been achieved in the state-of-the-art 10, 000-seater Kigali indoor Arena in Rwanda which is currently playing host to the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) kicked off in Rwandan capital Kigali on Sunday, featuring 12 teams from across Africa.

In delivering his remarks prior to sounding the closing gong and bringing the day’s trading to a close, President Buhari stated, “it is my pleasure to join you all at this important event organised to amplify the positive narrative about Africa and its great potentials. Let me start by congratulating Nigeria Exchange Group Plc on its recently concluded demutualisation, which is the <rst in the country. I recall signing the Demutualisation Bill in August 2018, having the way for the long-awaited demutualisation of the then Nigerian Stock Exchange.”

Vanguard News Nigeria