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Lagos State House of Assembly

The Lagos House of Assembly has proposed new amendments for the Lagos State Sports Commission Law 2017 in a bid to provide opportunities and create a ground where young people can realise their potentials and have respect for the environment with a sense of social belonging.

The Bill entitled, “A Bill for a Law to amend the Lagos State Sports Commission Law 2017, to promote Youths and Sports Development in Lagos State and for connected purposes, 2021” passed through its public hearing on Friday.

Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, Deputy Speaker who presided over the public hearing on behalf of the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon.(Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, disclosed that the purpose of the hearing is to deliberate and curate public and stakeholders’ opinions on how to maximise the sporting capacities in various communities in the State.

He expressed that the intention of the amendments is to further promote youth and sports development as the potentials of sports are highly underestimated in the State.

Adding that the reviewed Bill created a new Section 3 when passed into Law, would broaden the objectives of the Law in line with the global trend of sports industries and the administration of sports, such as the development of the consciousness of young people as citizens of the State through sports and the encouragement of para-sports;
Hon. Eshinlokun-Sanni stressed that, “This Bill underscores the importance of sports and its activities and give credence to its relation to our social security and economic lives and therein lies the reason why we must pay strong attention to sports and sporting activities in our State.”

In his welcome address, Hon. Owolabi Ajani, Acting Chairman, Committee on Youths, Sports and Social Development, stated that “The Bill seeks to develop the consciousness and needs of youths by ensuring that their expectations are met through sporting activities, promote grassroots sports at the divisional level and organise State competitions that would further help to strengthen sporting development in the State.” He further explained.

Believing that this is the best time to help develop sporting activities in the Local Governments/Local Council Development Areas, expand school games programmes and give youths more opportunities to compete in all competitive sports and win more laurels for the State.

Hon. Ajani enjoined the stakeholders to contribute meaningfully to the proposed legislation, assuring them that their suggestions, opinions and contributions would be considered by the Committee in order to make a Law that would stand the test of time.

Giving the overview of the Bill, Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, emphasised on the creation of the new Sections added to the amended Bill, “A new Section 3 is created whose objectives is to use sports in a resourceful way that will fully contribute to the development of youths in the State; encourage positive perception about youths and use sports as a means for combating crimes; provide necessary supports and encouragement in order to enable and strengthen the mental organisation in youths related sports.”

He ascertained that newly created Sections 17 – 37 will promote divisional sport competitions, tournaments and championships in all five (5) tournaments and division of the State on a regular basis, “The divisional championships and competitions shall begin from the grassroot level through to the divisional to the State levels and each level of sporting competition shall be accorded all necessary importance with adequate publicity.”

According to the Bill and in line with the supporting roles of the Commission, the Commission shall support and develop sports by helping divisions and communities grow sports in their locality, nurture and develop talents in all divisions of the State and expand the school games programmed to increase opportunities for more young people to play competitive sports.

Stakeholders reviewed the 37 Sections of the Bill with the lawmakers and made inputs and suggestions.

Mr. Babatunde Sobur a Stakeholder from Lagos State Office of Disability observed that the newly introduced Section 3 did not state the objective of persons living with disability because the section only talks about youth without an actual interpretation section defining youths as other people and persons living with disabilities. Also in Section 5, they should include and given representation in the Governing Board so that they can be part of the policy making process.

He thereby appealed to the Speaker to appoint a Special Adviser on Disability so that they can advise the House on the inclusion of persons with disability on any law that passes through the State Assembly so that the interest of persons living with disability in Lagos State will be adequately represented.

Mr. Bash Abristo from Vice President Traditional Sport of Nigeria stated that indigenous Sporting activities going on in Lagos State have no control as there were no supports from the Lagos State Sport Commission. There should be a law that will ensure that our children are taught games like ‘Ayoo’ in school because ‘Ayoo’ is an indigenous and international match that will make them learn and concentrate more in school.

Suggesting that tourism should be linked to traditional sports which are very important; “unfortunately we are disregarding our tradition in Africa in general, we do not have a single African sport in the All African Games, the tourism will be known and people will come to see our sports”.

In response to the concerns raised on some clauses in the Bill, the Deputy Speaker Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni assured the stakeholders and the publics that the Bill will include the aggregate of the submissions of Stakeholders.

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Ajagbe Adeyemi Teslim is the founder and publisher of Nigerian number one online platform known as Ajagbe was born on the 24th of August 1983 into the family of Mr and Mrs Ajagbe who hail from Kwara state of Nigeria, Ajase-Ipo precisely. Ajagbe is a journalist, a blogger, a social media warrior, farmer, a YouTube and an ornithologist respectively.

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