Rep. Julius Ihonvbere (APC-Edo) says establishment of a federal university of sports, Afuze, Edo, will facilitate development of Nigeria’s sportsmen and women.
The lawmaker, who represents Owan Federal Constituency, said that the establishment would also help the sportsmen and women to perform better at local and international competitions.
Ihonvbere spoke in an interview with the newsmen at Afuze on Wednesday.
Reports said that a bill for establishment of the university has passed the third reading in the House of Representatives.
The Federal University of Sports, Afuze, Edo, State (Establishment) Bill, 2019, was sponsored by Ihonvbere.
He told newsmen that establishment of the university would be historic as it would be the first in the country.
”Hundreds of sportmen and women who are retired will be ready to use this institution to train our young ones,” he said.
Ihonvbere added that it would reposition sports as a major revenue earner and employment provider in Nigeria.
According to him, Sports College, Afuze, is the oldest sports institution in the country saddled with training and developing coaches, sports managers and athletes for Edo and the entire Nigeria.
He said that Nigeria’s fortunes in sports were waning due to inadequate facilities.
“We are not doing well in sports. How many event are we going for in the next Olympics?
“Very clearly, Nigeria has gone down; the days of Okocha, Kanu have gone. We are not breaking any new world records.
“The Federal University of Sport, Afuze, will help Nigeria to break this,” he told NAN.
He also noted that sports had become a huge business worldwide.
“In UK, they are making billions every year from sports; here, in Nigeria, we are losing money, nobody watches our national league anymore.
”I believe that on the side of business, on the side of physical health, on the side of intellectual development, on the part of building capable athletes to represent Nigeria and bringing laurels, the president will sign the bill.
“We already have the facilities, so it is not costing lots of money to do it.
”It is this same facilities Ogbemudia used to produce highly-rated athletes, we are expecting that the president will sign the bill into law,” Ihonvbere said.