By Dorcas Jonah
Abuja – Solomon Dalung, the Minister of Youths and Sports, on Thursday in Abuja advised state governors to direct part of their respective state security votes into sports development.
Dalung, while speaking at the grand opening of Dakinda Penalty Football Game, said this would enhance security in the states and allow for social security.
“I am using this medium to appeal to all governors who have so much security vote to spend and have spent a lot on security to redirect such money to sports development.
“This will give them the greatest peace. We don’t need physical security but we need social security.
“If our people are secure in their minds and are secure of their future, there will be no problem in Nigeria,’’ he said.
The minister also said sports could be better managed by government with more responsibility assigned to the private sector since sports is business.
He said the Dakinda penalty football game was one that would create wealth for the youth.
“Today the Dakinda Penalty Football Game’s potential is enormous, because wealth will be created. More people will be engaged and job will be created,’’ Dalung said.
He said the Nigeria’s sports industry would be repositioned if the private sector would come in to drive the industry.
“I am assuring Nigerians that there is hope for Nigeria. Young people should not lose hope. It was bad yesterday, but it does not mean that tomorrow will not be good.
“On behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, I restate our commitment to ensure that sports development takes a priority,’’ Dalung said.
Earlier, the Chairman of League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko, had called on sports stakeholders to join hands to develop football in Nigeria.
He said the Dakinda game would create at least 5,000 jobs, adding that no industry could generate this number of jobs so fast.
“This project is not only creating jobs, but it is a way of distributing wealth to the Nigerian populace and to create an opportunities for people to achieve their dreams.
“Aside wealth distribution, it will also raise funds for football development in the country,’’ Dikko said.
Adolphus Ekpe, the Director-General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), said the commission partnered with the Dakinda game organisers because of its transparency.
“We want to marry lottery with sports, not just Dakinda, but we are developing other sports lottery games.
“However, we decided to partner with Dakinda because this kind of lottery creates employment and an opportunity for youths to be gainfully engaged, rather than get involved in social vices.’’
The Founder and Chairman of the Dakinda Football For Every Home project, Emmanuel Akpakwu, said the Dakinda Penalty Game was a revolutionary sports lottery game.
He said every N100 ticket possessed gives the holder the potential to win N5,000 instantly when he or she scores a goal.
Akpakwu said the game does not only give the player true opportunities to win but the outcome was primarily determined by the individual’s playing skills.
“The Penalty Game is in a class of its own and there are no limits to what players can achieve.
“One major target is youth empowerment, and it is therefore apposite to state that youth restiveness and vices are expected to be on the decline after today, if our youths take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Dakinda game.
“The Dakinda Penalty Game is designed to increase the entertainment value of football with a focus on taking spot-kicks.
“With just one ball and one goal, eligible players can make money from football and live a good life,’’ he said.
Akpakwu said the project was in partnership with former Super Eagles captain Nwankwo Kanu to bring smile to faces of all sports-loving families.