The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare says the visit of the President of the International Olympic Committee, (IOC), Dr Thomas Bach to Nigeria will boost sports development in the country.
The minister said this on Friday in Abuja at a pre-event media briefing ahead of the two-day working visit of the IOC President scheduled for Nov. 13-14 in Abuja.
Dare said that plans had been concluded to ensure a hitch-free visit for the number one Olympic administrator to Nigeria.
“The visit by the IOC President and his team is quite significant as it shows the place of Nigeria in the heart of the International Olympic Movement.
“It is also a clear sign that Nigeria is highly respected in the sports sector among the committee of African nations,” he said.
He explained that the IOC President as part of his engagements will commission the Secretariat of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) among other things.
“The visit of the IOC President is also billed to orchestrate other activities which include a courtesy call to State House, tour of the facilities at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja and meetings with Olympians, Olympic Scholarship holders, NOC Partners and visits to NOC Partner Schools”.
“It is also important to mention here that Nigeria will continue to provide the expected leadership in promoting the ideals of the International Olympic Movement as the opportunity presents itself as we plan to also bid to host a major Olympic event” he added.
The minister assured that the ministry will ensure early preparations and proper logistics for Team Nigeria for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics slated for July 24- Aug. 9, 2020.
Earlier, President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Habu Gumel commended the Federal Government, sports minister and IOC for supporting the completion of the ANOCA project in the country.
He said the visit will further fast track securing more scholarships and training for Nigerian coaches and athletes from the IOC.
The IOC President and his entourage are scheduled to visit Nigeria from Nov. 13 to 14 in continuation of a tour of selected African countries ahead of the Olympics.
Bach, 65 is a German lawyer and former Olympics champion in fencing.