By: Toyin Nihinlola
The six months account of stewardship personally signed and released to the public by Hon. Joana Nnazua Kolo, the Kwara State Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Sports looks impressive, though, there is a need for her to raise the bar of her performance.
The backlash and outcry that followed the appointment of 26 years old Joana as Commissioner for Youth and Sports are unrivalled in the history of Kwara state.
While some saw Hon. Joana’s appointment as a good and beautiful opportunity for her to display her potentials and provide modern-day leadership expected from her age, some saw it as a fundamental error on the path of Gov. AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman.
The most negative opinion shared by various writers on her appointment centred on her “inexperience in administrative responsibility and her age”. Some put it in a more dramatic form that “how would this young girl without experience face the daily challenges of running an office with Permanent Secretary and Directors who are not only older than her parents but also with vast experience in public sector management?”
The blame was directed at the governor, but the governor was unperturbed and made up his mind to allow the appointment sail through to allow young people to be part and parcel of the nascent government.
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Yes, the young Commissioner has stamped her foot in the ministry and provided leadership. She has practically shamed those who said she will not be able to stand and give orders to anyone in the ministry. Not only that, but she has also provided direction for the ministry. Her achievements in Sports development within six months are commendable. Her support for youth organisations is also modest, but there’s still a long way to go.
The Commissioner should synergise with the relevant institution to provide a framework for rapid improvement in the sports department. There will be a need for her to integrate sports back into the state’s academic activities to raise the interest of primary and secondary schools students in sports.
Scouting for talents and training them for local and international competitions is key and she can get that done easily. To achieve this, schools must be provided with sporting facilities while also employing well-trained sports personnel to train the students.
She also needs to get more familiar with the laws and interpretation of laws that tend to protect the Nigerian and Kwara Child. It is her responsibility to reduce child labour and child molestations within the State. It’s also her responsibility to ensure that youths in the state are positively exposed to modernisation without jeopardizing the religious and cultural upbringing in them. Her basic responsibility is to leave her office open to listen and resolve every issue that relates to the daily challenges of the youths.
Sensitising and educating the youths on the societal challenges like rape and other sexual crimes, cultism, hooliganism, shoplifting, theft and armed-robbery is also her responsibility. Scaling down on those vices will mean that we will have a better society for the young and old to thrive.
Hon. Joana must also work with her counterpart in the Ministry of Education to ensure good welfare for the students who are majorly youths and also ensure that sound discipline is instilled in them. She must also ensure that those in higher institutions are being treated nicely while learning in an acceptable environment.
Hon. Joana Kolo, you have done well but you can do much better. Kudos!
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