By Toyin Saheed
It seems all attention of state government has been shifted to only football and basketball a lone for obvious reasons.
Let’s start from the monthly subvention given to Kwara State Sports Council, Ilorin, the council that saddled with the responsibility of managing sporting activities in the state.
Sports Council was established to promote various sporting events, aims at empowering children with skills in all sports, as well as creating a platform for necessary skill development.
The council creation in 1972 initially had more than 200 staff under it. And coaches then are more than 150 out of the total number of staff.
The statistics garnered now shown now that the council have less than 60 staff, which including coaches, administration and other back room staff.
The most pathetic storyline is that the council’s monthly subvention is not up to N2.4m, among which the staff salaries, maintenance of stadium facilities and other logistics.
Unlike before that the stadium generated money through the rentage of stadium facilities for ceremonial event; the reverse is the case because the state government has taken over revenue of the stadium, through KWIRS.
How would the council get money to sponsor athletes to national and international competitions? Can council with their penult subvention have money to employ coach to replace more many coaches that have retired from the council in the last five years and more?
Talking to some of the state athletes who spoke on condition of anonymity said the government has not given them one naira to attend any competitions in the four years.
He said, “as I’m speaking to you we have not been given one naira to attend any competition in the last four years but we can wait for that because we have been going to various competitions on our own”.
“As you can see, many of us have gone to other state because they are paying well and they will still have advantage to attend different international competitions both home and abroad. The highest money Kwara can give you is N10,000 and N10,000 is not regular,” he revealed.
Due to lack of commitment and lackadaisical attitude towards the players, many of them have been poached by state like Delta, Balyesa, Port Harcourt, Rivers, Cross River, Lagos, Ogun and Oyo state.
Though, only view sporting associations are doing well because their chairmen are really trying interms of financial supports.
Example is Shola Owolabi, Chairman, Kwara Table Tennis Association, and Alhaji Tunde Abdulkareem, Chairman of Kwara Athletics Association, these men has spent more than five million in the last four years on sponsorship and staging of competitions.
State government under the leadership of Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed should endeavour to increase the monthly subvention of the council in order to boost its activities.