By Stephen Merit
The Federal Government has expressed its willingness to partner with the National Association for Physical and Health Education, Recreation and Dance (NAPHER-SD) to drive physical consciousness towards ensuring a productive and healthy nation.
The Honourable Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh gave the assurance in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja whe he received in audience members of the Association of NAPHER-SD led by its President, Professor Florence Bola Adeyanju.
Senator Owan Enoh stated that the Ministry of Sports Development was ready to collaborate with NAPHER-SD to develop programmes and initiatives that will encourage physical activity, raise awareness about the importance of fitness, and disseminate valuable health education information to all segments of the society with a view to improving their health status, productivity, job creation and poverty reduction amongst them.
He observed that
a healthy nation is a productive nation, and by enhancing fitness and health education, *we can contribute to the overall well-being of the citizens. Through effective collaboration between the Ministry and NAPHER-SD, they can jointly design initiatives that target both the youth and adults to cultivate a culture of physical fitness and health consciousness*, he said
He added that physical fitness and health education are integral components of a thriving and prosperous nation and therefore NAPHER-SD should play a leading role in promoting it.
The Minister explained that one of the vital elements that Nigerians as a people continually miss in the sports sector is the physical fitness component, which he said *is one element that is an aspect that we ignore. It incorporates the generality of people into the sports ecosystem*
He informed that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration is interested in this, which is why he added that the President out of his wisdom created a Ministry of Sports Development to holistically drive this aspect of human development in line with the International standards.
The Minister noted that the *World Health Organization (WHO) some years ago focused on the benefits of fitness and physical activity in its guide to all nations. Its benefits to healthy living are enormous. One of the tasks of NAPHER-SD is to come out with advocacy towards physical activity and ideas on regulating the sector*, he stressed.
Senator Owan Enoh who commended NAPHER-SD for their longstanding commitment to physical education, sports, and related activities called on all Nigerians male and females to imbibe the culture of physical fitness so as to improve their health status in line with the policy thrust of the government.
Speaking earlier, the President of NAPHER-SD, Professor Adeyanju, stated that the Association was not only ready to support and deplore its professional expertise towards the successful realisation of the policy objectives of the government but also ensure cooperation and partnership with the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration in order to contribute to the overall development of sports in the country.
She added that the Association will ensure it works in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports Development to develop advocacy initiatives that will not only sensitize and regulate this important sector but also bring about positive changes that will contribute towards the development of a healthy nation.