Former captain of the Super Eagles, Austin “Jay-Jay” Okocha, has been nominated as the next Minister for Youth and Sports in Nigeria.
The name of the Nigeria national football team legend appeared alongside a number of prominent political figures in the country which is in a period of transition from one government to another.
Okocha’s nomination comes from the seat of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as is the protocol and it will be confirmed following the screening of the nominees by the country’s lawmakers.
Nigerians believe that it is a step in the right direction.
Jay Jay Okocha is no stranger to Nigeria’s political terrain, having served as the technical adviser of the youth and sports committee of his home state, Enugu, between 2019 and 2023.
The 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner with the Nigeria Super Eagles also served as the chairman of the Delta State Football Association.
Both roles exposed him to governance and government policies towards youth and sports development in Nigeria.
The 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold medal winner, who has previously declared his interest in becoming the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), is also one of Nigeria’s biggest sports exports. He has served in several capacities within the world football governing body, FIFA, and has also sat on a number of committees set up by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to deal with various issues pertaining to African football.
His social capital is also at an all-time high, which makes him a leading candidate for the role as he has the needed clout to bring development to Nigeria’s sports terrain, which has suffered from severe mismanagement in the past.
Nigerians are excited about the prospect of Jay-Jay Okocha leading the youth and sports ministry but it has also been confirmed that the list which is circulating around Nigeria news media is speculative.
-Ghana Sport Page