Cosmas Maduka, Chief Executive Officer, Coscharis Group of Companies, has urged the Federal Government to take its hands off sports and allow the private sector to take it up for meaningful development.
Maduka made the assertion when he visited the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos.
He said that privatisation of the sector was key to its development, noting that it might be impossible to get it right with sport if the government continued to interfere.
He said: “Government should take its hands off sports so that some private individuals will take it up.
“If the government continues to interfere with sports or meddling with it, it will be difficult for those who are passionate about it to make anything meaningful, successful and make profit out if it.”
Maduka, who left active involvement in sports in 2012, said he had not been active because too many things were competing for his attention.
He explained that he retired from active sports following a decision by the country’s sports authorities for him contests to be Chairman of the Table Tennis Federation which he single-handedly sponsored for 16 years.
He said: “I used to be chairman of NTTF for 16 years and led the Nigerian team to win the singles championship fat the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002 and the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, officially called the XVIII Commonwealth Games.
“In Africa, during my leadership, Nigeria also took the seven goal medals in table tennis and all the resources were coming from my purse.
“In 2014, when they said I have to contest to be chairman, I told them I never contested anything with anybody and I am not interested in competition and that was why I quit sports.”
He, however, said that Coscharis Group would in due time consider returning actively to sports development.