Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara says sports could be used by Nigeria to project its strength to the world if local talents are properly developed and motivated.
Newsmen reports that the governor said this at the closing ceremony of the 5th National Youth Games in Ilorin.
“It’s my hope that government at all levels would develop a sectoral strategy to transform sports into an industry that empowers our teeming youths for social and economic development.
“Sports should not just be for mere recreation; it should be an important tools for image projection and diplomacy, a source of soft power and a big industry that can engage the youths who would otherwise have channelled their abundant energy to other untoward activities.” Abdulrazaq said.
He commended all the participants for their sportsmanship and the Sports Ministry as well as the host university for their efforts that resulted in the success of the game.
“All of you are winners. The fact that you all came here from across the country shows your efforts to win.
“I hereby congratulate the organisers of this event. It is a fantastic event, hosting up to 4,000 youths is a phenomenal thing. I salute Delta, Lagos in specific, I cannot call all states.” the governor said.
The governor, who pledged to make the event better next year, also gave an assurance that the state-contingent would perform better in subsequent events.
“This is a new government and we have seen what can be achieved and what is achievable.
“Certainly, next year, it is going to be a better event. This is my first time at this event, next year we would come in full force.
“We believe there will be progression and growth because the number of participants in this edition surpassed last year’s, and next year we hope to have more,” he added.