NAN, VON, NTA, FRCN to begin major sports coverage, says Information Minister

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris (3rd Left); Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Enoh (2nd Left); Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Dr Ngozi Onwudiwe (1st Left) and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports, Mrs Tinuke Watti (4th Left), when Enoh paid a courtesy visit on Idris in Abuja on Thursday
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By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, says, the four major media organisations under his ministry would soon begin holistic coverage of major sporting activities in the country.

The media organisations, according to the Minister includes: News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Voice of Nigeria (VON), Nigerian Television of Authority (NTA) and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).

Idris stated this when the Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Enoh and his management team paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday in Abuja.

The Minister, who appreciated Enoh for his passion, determination, zeal and dexterity to move the sports sector, assured him of the ministry’s collaboration.

“Ministry of Information and National Orientation houses the major public information platforms. We have NAN which is one of the biggest in Africa and NTA which also has the widest reach in Africa.

“We also have FRCN which is one of the biggest in the whole of African continent and VON that has the responsibility of projecting Nigeria ‘s image to other parts of the world and broadcast in eight foreign and local languages.

“So, you cannot have a better Ministry to collaborate with in terms of projection of sports development than this ministry.
“I am happy and glad that you have seen this clearly and have taken it up.

“I want to assure you that in us, in this ministry, you have found a worthy partner to pursue your course so that sports can be taken to the highest realm in this country,” he said.

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Idris expressed the need to set up a committee among both ministries in order to explore areas of collaboration.

“We will invite all heads of public broadcast platforms and give a marching order for sports coverage and development.

“Whatever your ministry is getting in terms of coverage and projection, we will double that effort and make sure that you succeed,” Idris said.

The Minister further underscored the unity, national integration and cohesion that sports usually bring to all Nigerians, especially when the national teams were playing against other countries.

“Sports can be used as a vehicle for turning this country to where our founding fathers left it for us.

“So, we want to thank you for this visit, and assure you that we will partner with you in sports development.”

Speaking earlier, Enoh said the purpose of the visit was to seek and request for media support for sports development as it related to coverage of sports activities like Sports festivals, Football League and others.

Enoh further explained that the potential of sports to bond and enhance unity could not be overemphasised.

He noted that the African Cup of Nation provided the platform for unity in Nigeria, that he wished the competition was hosted daily.

“However, there are some of our sports events that happens every year or biannually like National Sports Festival in Ogun and another event in Asaba.

“Without coverage of these games, we will not be able to encourage mass participation.

“The Media, especially, the television and radio are so important. Without media, we will continue to make efforts but may not get any results.

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“We need collaboration. There is need for the two ministries to join forces to be in sync for the development of sports in Nigeria.

“We need to have a work plan for coverage of national games, football leagues and President Federation Cup.

“My expectation is that, the Directors-General of NTA, FRCN and others should work with directors in the Ministry of Sports Development, have an interface to have sports coverage on short and long term basis, “Enoh said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Yinusa Ishola/Maureen Atuonwu

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