– Senator Ben Bruce said the country does not value its people
– The lawmaker said focus was always on awarding contracts rather than investing in people
– He said the Super Falcons deserve to be paid their dues
Ben Murray Bruce has expressed sadness over the way human beings are being treated by the Nigerian government.
Vanguard reports that the senator representing Bayelsa east lamented over the treatment the Super Falcons received after their cup victory on Saturday, December 3.
Ben Bruce who spoke at the plenary session on Wednesday, December 7 said the government was more concerned about awarding contracts and building stadium while neglecting the athletes.
He said: “We are a nation that builds stadiums but play no matches in them, we are a nation that spends a quarter of a billion dollars to buy equipments for NTA for the All Africa Games, but after the event, we don’t use the equipment. It seems like when it comes to awarding contracts to build facilities we are experts at them.
“I remember telling president Obasanjo at the time, there was no need to build the stadium at Abuja, that the All Africa Games could have been held in Lagos like they did in 1972. Now the stadium is built, when El-Rufai was FCT Minister, he went to take it over, he asked how much does it take to maintain, they told him JB was charging two billion naira every year just for maintenance, he said “please I don’t want it anymore.”
“The problem we have right now is this, we care about structures, we don’t care about people and this applies to every government since 1960. It is a disgrace what is happening to our girls, it is a disgrace what happens to our football players, our boxers, our tennis players, swimmers and all athletes representing Nigeria. We must take a position, we either care about human beings or we care about bricks and mortar, we either care about people or we care about giving out contracts, the talent for Nigeria to be great is the people we have in this country, but the government of Nigeria do not care about human beings, they only care about giving out contracts.
“Now we have won the competition, something as simple as paying wages to our young ladies who are the heroes of our time is not being paid because there are no contracts to be awarded. The entire sports division must be overhauled and only people with intelligence, committment, passion and a drive to make Nigeria great should be appointed to the ministry of sports and government should understand that this is serious business.
“Everytime I see a kid selling paper on the street running, you see an area-boy but I see a 100m world champion because that is how they are made. All the kids in America who are now heroes all came from the ghetto. Nobody in this chamber, none of our children will be world champion because they are too rich. Only the children of the poor will go into sports. The children of the rich will go into science and technology, they will not go into sports. So what we have done is deprive the child of the poor a chance to make a living and to be successful and this is very important.
“Whether you are Dick Tiger, Hogan Bassey, any world champion we have ever had, they have never been children of the rich. The children of the poor are the ones who we are depriving a chance to make a living and be successful. I urge all my noisy colleagues to please support this motion and get the government to paid the allowances of these beautiful children so that we can be great again.”