Veteran sports journalist, Tayo Balogun has commended the Imo State Government for appointing a former Nigeria international and retired Director General of the defunct National Sports Commission Dr Patrick Ekeji as the head of a seven-man committee that will review the Imo State Sports Commission.
The committee which was inaugurated on Monday by the Secretary to the Imo State Government Chief Cosmas Iwu also has Mrs Chizotan Aretola as Secretary.
Prof Ken Anugweje, Dr Godfrey Ogu, Mr Chuks Abara as well as a representative each from the Ministry of Justice and Office of the Secretary to the Government of Imo State.
Balogun, a former vice chairman of the Lagos State Sports Council said any state that has a top-class sports administrator like Dr Ekeji and refuses to tap from his expertise was merely shortchanging itself.
He expressed confidence that Dr Ekeji and the review committee will come up with recommendations that will restore Imo State to its pride of place not only in Nigeria’s sporting industry but in the entire world.
“I have no doubt that Dr Ekeji will deploy his wealth of expertise and experience to do an excellent job of the mandate given to him and other members of the committee. His records are there for everybody to see when he was the Director General of the National Sports Commission. During his tenure, athletes’ welfare was given maximum priority.” Balogun said
Chief Cosmas Iwu, Secretary to the Government of Imo State, while inaugurating the committee in his office on Monday, handed the Ekeji Committee the task of reviewing the laws setting up the sports commission to bring it in line with international best practices as well as looking into ways to improve Sports development in the state.
The committee has already swung into action with visits to the various jobs done by the commission since its inception last year.
Following his appointment in 1993 as Director of Sports in Imo State, Ekeji was made the National Director of Sports at the National Sports Commission in December 1994, Director of Sports Development at the National Sports Commission, 2001, and Director-General, National Sports Commission in 2009, a post he retired from in 2013. Ekeji briefly coached the national football team in 1986.