NIN Must Screen Athletes For National Youth Games, Persuades Federal Government

Sep 26, 2023 | Sports | 0 comments

The federal government has reiterated its decision to use the National Identification Number (NIN) instead of facial screening of athletes at the National Youth Games in Asaba, Delta State, to eliminate age cheating.
Senator John Owan Enoh, the sports development minister, told journalists in Asaba.

He said his order to Games officials to present NIN during athlete screening was irreversible because the government wanted it right from the grassroots.

He said NIN must be used to resolve the facial screening issue and athletes must insist on it, but the system may not be perfect yet but must improve the process for sports development in the country.

He stated that age cheating in the Games meant to discover and develop grassroots talents had become a cankerworm that could cripple the government’s grassroots sports development efforts.

All stakeholders, including the media, must support the Ministry’s efforts to combat age cheating in sports. Our National Identity Number (NIN) verification process for athletes is one of the Games’ innovations this year. As we progress with other stakeholders, we will improve the process to minimise age cheating in sports. We must get this right as a nation to excel in sports. The directive that NIN presentation is required for screening has not been reversed, he said.

The Minister said he focused on grassroots and elite sports and that the government will continue to support grassroots sports through infrastructure upgrades using the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) when it becomes operational.

He said this year’s Youth Games offer a unique opportunity for the country to rewrite the story of our sports, as the new president wants to create a sports ministry.

I can assure you that President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration will focus on developing the nation’s abundant talents. We do this not just for podium performances but to create a career pathway for our youth and millions of jobs in the sports value chain, reduce youth poverty, and encourage women’s sports participation to improve security, he said.

He added that the government will continue to expose athletes to infrastructure that will help them showcase their talents and prepare them for the elite stage.

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