The minister of science, technology and innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that sports as an instrument of national integration is very critical to the development and growth of the country Nigeria.
He stated this when the president of the Research Institute Games Association of Nigeria (RIGAN), Prof. Fortune Owolade, and his members paid a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on Tuesday.
A statement issued by the Press and Public Relations Unit of the Ministry said Onu described RIGAN as one of the sporting activities in Nigeria that have helped the country improve on national integration and unity, which is of great importance to the nation as the country’s strength is in our diversity.
“It is in our diversity that gives us enormous strength that helps the Nation to bring together human beings with different talents, different skills and capabilities that when put together, we succeed in everything,” he said.
He further stated that Nigeria has enormous resources in the Nation, varying from one part of the country to another which if joined together, the nation will have tremendous opportunities to explore and exploit for the good of Nigerians.
The minister commended RIGAN for their contribution in helping the country to achieve National Integration through Sports Games by raising Sportsmen, and women athletics that have gotten exposure from activities of RIGAN and from there grow to represent Nigeria in the International forum.
At the International level, the minister said, our country’s athletics brought home laurels and medals through the help of RIGAN.
The minister further stated that the ministry is trying to move the country away from resource to a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy, stressing that it has so much to contribute in the area of Sports Development, and that is why it is assisting RIGAN to achieve first-class in Sporting activities so that Nigeria will be able to compete with other countries internationally.
Onu equally promised to engage all the Agencies under the Ministry to contribute their own quota in making sure that RIGAN is funded.
Earlier, Professor Owolade told the Minister that the purpose of their visit is to present the hosting of RIGAN Sports Games scheduled to hold from November 25th December 5th, 2021 tentatively.
He also requested for the Ministries’ financial assistance to enable them to execute their project and strengthen their sporting activities.