Solomon Dalung, Minister of Youth and Sports on Friday directed sport federations to submit their programmes for 2017 within the first week of the year.
Dalung, in his New Year message to Nigerians, said the early submission would give room for proper planning.
“All federations, including the NFF, should avail the ministry of their programmes for 2017 to enable the government to scrutinise and plan for intervention appropriately.
“Failing to do so in time will mean forfeiting contingent arrangements for those programmes and federations should not fall back to blackmail the government.
“In the New Year, we are looking at sports with high hopes. We are hopeful that the potentials in sports will be unbundled for the benefit of the teeming youths.
“Therefore, all hands must be on deck to achieve’’, he said.
Dalung said Federal Government was determined to continue with its current drive to sanitise the sport sector to make it more viable and credible to investors
He said the sector recorded successes in 2016 that could be improved upon in 2017.
Dalung said measures would be put in place in the new year to ensure transparency in sports.
“We recorded achievements in the Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2016. We have also improved in our football and basketball rankings by FIFA and FIBA.
“With federal government’s timely financial intervention, the Super Eagles have been able to start their World Cup campaign on a very strong footing with two victories recorded.
“We must also thank President Muhammadu Buhari for paying special attention to the Super Eagles and Super Falcons following the recent payment of all outstanding allowances and bonuses despite the current economic situation.
“We hosted and discovered new talents from the National Youth Games in Ilorin despite paucity of funds but these can be improved upon with an increased budgetary allocation for sports in 2017’’, he said.
Dalung said that despite the successes recorded in football recently, it was unfortunate that the audit report in which NFF was indicted by FIFA was to dent Nigeria’s image.
“The policy direction of the ministry is that we will stop at nothing to preserve the image of Nigeria. Nigerians should also know the determination of government on issues of accountability, especially the FIFA audit report.
Dalung wished Nigerians prosperous New Year, adding that some of the challenges of sports in 2016 were paucities of fund, sponsorship, transparency and accountability.