By Raphael Ekpang
It is no longer news that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appointed Senator John Owan Enoh as the Nigeria Minister of Sports Development, but what seems news is his ability and charisma to attract investors into the sector.
Well, for investors to invest in any sector there are specific requirements needed and chiefly among them is TRUST. Trust, in this context is simply confidence repose on a company, individual or a group of persons by an investor. Trust could also be, an investor having confidence on the Minister’s ability to utilize the resources available at his disposal to do exactly what it was meant for.
A background check on Senator John Enoh on how he used constituency project’s allowances from the two chambers of the National Assembly to empowered his people will convince anyone why his supporters from the central senatorial district of Cross River State, can’t but believe in him.
However, a classroom teacher turn politician, Enoh, to his friends and supporters, he is an epitome of TRUST. This is because; he did not and has not abandoned the people he started life and political journey with. He has kept them together alongside the new ones he made.
Secondly, It is TRUST that made his supporters from his former political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) moved with him to the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2017, when he crossed over to the later, perhaps the reason he controls a battalion of supporters in the Cross River Central he once represented at the upper chambers of the national assembly.
Trust, was why in the Lower and Upper chambers of the national assembly, he was appointed the House and Senate Committee chairman on Finance and appropriation respectively. This position is a position of trust to any Speaker or Senate President, and Enoh based on who he is delivered his mandate as expected of him, therefore, the appointment as the Sports Minister is another position of TRUST.
It is obvious that , Nigerian sports sector need a trust worthy individual to be able to lead a radical transformation of the sector, so, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose quest to transform all sectors of our economy is not in doubt has carefully chosen a man whose name is synonymous to TRUST to lead the radical transformation of the sector in the next four years under his leadership.
It is instructive also to note that, the reason while investors have refused over the years to invest in the sector if not last administration where Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Kassimpton Abutu invested money in the renovation of the Moshood Abiola national Stadium, Abuja and National Stadium Surulere, Lagos respectively is because of the caliber of persons in the past who were at the helm of the affairs of the ministry as ministers. Some of them were brought out from the dungeon to be Ministers; as such they needed to clean up themselves, friends and family before the sector.
But, thank God, the Agbokim born classroom teacher turned politician has been in governance since 2003, so the argument of whether he will first take care of his family and friends as usual before the sector does not exist in the first place. This is because, he is a contented person and that could be testified by his approach to issues at the sector. Unlike others who will tell you, I will bring down and rebuild the sports facilities within a year or do this or that, he has decided to play low while monitoring and evaluating the sector so that he will know the best approach to it radical transformation.
Another important aspect that is required to move the sector forward is the political will. Groups that have paid the Minister courtesy visit within his few days in office, including national leadership of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) can say without prevarication that Sen. John Enoh has the Knowledge, articulation and the political will to dare the monsters in the sector.
One thing you must give to him is that he is very fast in learning, perhaps because he listen more than he talks. So, those administrators running fast to corrupt him as usual are doing that at their own peril because Sen. Enoh that I know won’t join ‘them’ rather they will join him because his mandate to the ministry is just one, to turn things around including the cartels in all the federations.
The cartels have made it almost impossible for the sector to grow in the past using their international collaborators to truncate every move in the sector especially when it has to do with elections and accountability. Though, this is a topic for another day.
It is in sports, directors will tell a minister ‘this is how we do things here’ and the Minister will obey without thinking of the position of integrity, but I know, Enoh is one person you can hardly have your way when you engage him except your argument is above hundred percent superior to his.
It is also in sports that FIFA and FIBA, as well as other international associations have powers to detect who become leaders in Nigeria during federations’ elections, the reason our sports sector has remain where it is today. Leaders’ climbing into position in Nigerian sports is determined on how deep their pockets are.
In the nutshell, investors want to see result of their investments and I am sure with Senator John Owan Enoh in the affairs of the Ministry they won’t be disappointed because his personality alone is a guarantee of what they (investors) want, coupled with his disposition to the Sports Writers whom he has gladly pledged to work with for the development of the sector. Any administrator who is willing to partner the media for any reason must be trusted because it is not easy to partner the media especially in the sports ministry where tribalism and quest to unravel mysteries are the order of the day.
This write up would be inconclusive like most elections in Nigeria in the past if the writer fail to mention that the honorable Minister will definitely be welcome to the ministry with all sort of write up; those for and against. It doesn’t mean that those writing against are actually targeting him, but the system has made it so, perhaps for relevancy or want to draw his attention to certain areas and federations. But as it is now the important thing is the ability of the writers to say exactly who he is so that the investors who have been waiting to see his kind of person in the ministry to enable them invest in the sector can now come.
At this juncture, however, it will be proper to call on investors to start coming because the moment they have been waiting for Is here-they got a Minister who will give account of whatever entrusted under his care, and who also cannot afford to let the people he is representing down for the sake of tomorrow.