March 2, 2018
It is a great honour and privilege to speak before our esteemed guests this morning/afternoon.
Today is a special day. Today, we recognize the great sacrifices and efforts our stakeholders have made, and today we commemorate those who have taken up the task of engaging and shaping the future of our youths.
Today we honour our critical Sports stakeholder, who one way or another have played a part in giving hope to our Region.
Please permit me to introduce myself as the Acting Director General of DAWN Commission.
For those of us who may still be wondering what DAWN is DAWN simply put, is the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria. It is composite regional development strategy being pursued by all States of the Southwest of Nigeria to achieve and fast¬-track the development of the Region, irrespective of inclinations or beliefs. It is a regional optimization strategy, prescribing a united front of all States in the Region for building and achieving a secured future for all.
It is part of our mandate at the Commission to put the Southwest Region on the map as a flourishing sport community
It is part of our role to use sport as a critical tool to create huge impact on the well-being of our people as well as eliciting means of encouraging an entire community to participate and see the benefits of physical activity.
The economic benefits of Sports is also extremely important in our desire to intervene, we Sports in general as a tool to curb massive unemployment among our youth; think of the entire value chain of Sports and the knock-on effect on the economic well-being of our Region. This explains why we count Sports as a critical pillar of our development trajectory as a people.
The Commission is committed to developing sports and recreational activities within the Southwest Region. This commitment derives from the conviction that sports can serve as a significant tool to improve the overall health standard in the Region - but sports is also so much more. Sport can also serve as nation-building and peace preserving instrument not only for the Southwest Region, but for the entire country Nigeria. Sport also teaches us teamwork – which every person counts, it teaches us the importance of fair play and observing code of rules. It sets aside our personal aspirations for the benefit of the collective and it teaches us that winning or losing can be done with honour – knowing that one did the very best of one’s ability.
Our vision is to see a sports movement in the Southwest Region open to all. Unfortunately today’s reality is far from that vision as many groups still stand in the periphery, for example girls and women, schools sports, persons with physical and mental disabilities and socially deprived youth. It must be made clear that every citizen constitutes a crucial component of our regional progress.
DAWN Commission will do its utmost to remove the remaining impediments for the development of sports opportunities and its accessibility to all - from the grass roots upwards. We are determined to create a new and develop a sporting tradition by:
• Jointly promoting a Standard Sports Academy to produce world-beaters in targeted sports where we have competitive edge.
• Developing a Regional Standard for school sports and sports administration.
• Organizing an annual Regional Football Tournament for Secondary Schools, State Universities, Polytechnics and other Tertiary institutions.
• Organizing an annual competition for our teams in the Local Leagues; the Nigerian Football Leagues
• Organizing an annual Western Nigeria Sports Festival, where we showcase our possibilities in competitive Sports.
• Pursuing opportunities for both national and international partnership and alliances and seek opportunities for organizing Sports Clinics, Coaches Workshops, Administrators’ Programmes etc., for capacity building
• Establishing a well-managed framework for private sector funding of Sports, including Trust Funds, Sports Lottery, and Corporate Sponsorship.
Let me take a moment to share with you that our partnership with WNFF signifies the beginning of Redefined, Refocused and Revitalised Western Nigeria Football.
In the light of this,the Commission deemed it necessary
• to revive the old Principals Cup competition as a first step in the effort to bring back the Region’s lost glory in sports. We chose to start with the football competition primarily because of its popularity and wide acceptance and secondly because of the immediate availability of the facilities to organize a successful competition among the six member states.
• To organize Governors Cup
• To organize Tertiary Institution Cup and many more
Furthermore, The Commission will continue its efforts in intensifying relations with actors within the sports sector, both on a national and international level in order to promote the Southwest Region as a sporting community based upon constitutional rights.
There has never been a better time to engage an entire Region to participate in sport especially football. It improves our health, it helps us to learn and it helps us unite. I would like to thank the WNFF for their outstanding work and making this event possible.
May Western Region go from strength to strength as we establish an outstanding sport community that we all can be proud of!
Ag. Director General, DAWN Commission
March 2, 2018