The Federal Government has insisted on the use of National Identification Number (NIN) instead of facial screening of athletes in the ongoing National Youth Games in Asaba, Delta State.
The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, who disclosed this in Asaba during an interactive session with journalists explained that it is to ensure the speedy elimination of age cheat in the games.
Senator Enoh stated that his directive to the officials on the mandatory presentation of National Identity Number during the screening of athletes was irreversible as government is determined to get it right from the grassroots.
While clarifying the issue on facial screening that NIN must be used to resolve it, and athletes must insist on it, he added that the system may not be perfect now but with innovative solutions the process and aim will be achieved for the purpose of sports development in the country.
He noted that age cheat in the game meant for the discovery and development of budding talents for the country at the grassroots has become a cankerworm which if not completely eliminated, was capable of crippling government’s efforts at developing grassroots sports.
Senator Enoh said his focus on Sports Development is grassroots and elite sports hence the present administration will continue to support grassroots sports through the provision of infrastructure upgrade using the provisions of the National Sports Industry Policy.
He further said that government will continue to ensure early exposure of athletes to necessary infrastructure that will equip them not only to exhibit their sporting talents but also to afford them the opportunity to equip themselves for transition to the elite stage .
Meanwhile, Lagos State has taken an early lead on the medals table released by the main organising committee of the youth games after day one of the one week championship with a total of 7 medals.