The Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, has called for a review of the curriculum of the Nigerian Institute of Sports.
Dalung made the clarion call for the revival of the institution as it celebrated its silver jubilee anniversary and 7th convocation of the institution held at the NIS Multipurpose Hall, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
The minister promised to see to the review of the institution’s operations for better performance, adding that its contributions to the development of sports in Nigeria could not be overlooked.
He said: “This is an institution that has contributed immensely to the development of sports in Nigeria. I am not particularly impressed that the institution last held its convocation 14 years ago.
“As a responsible government, we will see that the curriculum of the institution is turned toward the modern day reality so that it will continue to be at its best, churning out great stars for our country.
“This is because the institution has in the past, produced men of timbre and calibre who have contributed immensely to the development of sports in the country.
“Those that have passed through this great institution of sports will not be happy if it’s not working well and I can also apologise for the years of neglect.”
Dalung said that government would seek to revive the abandoned collaboration between the institution and Germany to bring back its lost glory among other collaborations.
He said: “NIS was established with collaboration between Nigeria and the Institute of Sports in Germany and worked effectively before it was abandoned.
“If we must kick it off, we must go back to track. We are re-visiting the collaboration with Germany and we also have existing collaboration with the University of Johannesburg, relating to the institution’s development.
“In about two weeks, we will be travelling to South Africa to revisit the collaboration and dust it up so that we can transform the institute.
“We also have an offer from the government of Hungary to establish a University of Sports in Nigeria which will be dominantly funded by the Hungarian government. We are also pursuing that.”
The Chairman, Governing Council, NIS, Ibrahim Galadima, frowned at the past neglect of the foremost institute of sports, adding that it was time to look into its challenges.
Galadim said: “It is sad that the institution last held its convocation 14 years ago, this is totally unacceptable. Among other challenges it is time to look into the curriculum of this institution for the modern day reality.
“We need to be more consistent and viable in delivering our mandate of providing personnel for sports development in Nigeria.”
The Director, NIS, Dr Eke Chukwudi, said that though he inherited a great number of challenges, there was a desire to reposition the institution.
Chukwudi said: “In retrospect, on assumption of duty, I inherited a number of challenges notably; accreditation of NIS programmes and lack of resources to convene convocation ceremony.
“These among others were prioritised by the management and the governing council. The convocation of this year is unique, because for the past 14 years the institution has yet to have any for obvious reasons.
“In our continuous quest to reposition NIS, we have embarked on extensive review of our curriculum to enable the institute effectively meet the challenges of the 21st century in the areas of sports development.
“This is being done through collaborative efforts with appropriate government agencies. Today, I am pleased to inform you that the institute has been able to record some achievements.
“This is in the area of acquisition of vehicles; developmental work is ongoing at the hostel and on the accreditation exercise and rebranding of the institute.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that over 1,500 students convocated in Diploma and Higher Diploma in Sports Management, Stadium Management, Coaching and Training among others.