Toronto Raptors’ President, Masai Ujiri, has advised Nigeria to stop the anti-productive practice of appointing non-professionals as sports ministers.
He said the practice ensures that the country’s largest and most productive population are denied the quality leadership at the policy level that unleashes their great potential.
Speaking alongside President Muhammadu Buhari at the launch of the Nigeria Exchange (NGX) Group, Ujiri said the nation must take its youths and sports serious to achieve economic and political potential, which he added are the country’s surest path to global success.
Describing the National Stadium, Lagos, as an eyesore, Masai, who in 2003 founded ‘Giants of Africa’ to discover basketball talent, and once served as director of NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Africa, wondered why such a great piece of real estate has not become income-generating like other sports complexes the world over.
Ujiri challenged other speakers at the virtual launch to support sports business, which is one of the biggest income earners the world over.
Among speakers at the launch were President Buhari; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed and Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo.
Others were the GCEO of the Nigeria Exchange Group, Mr. Oscar Onyema; former chairman of UBA, and founder Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu; and former chairman of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia.