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October, 29 2022.

Fitness is a sports component which incorporates everyone, and when you are fit you function optimally. The Civil Service needs more fit people

The Honorable Minister of Sports Development called on Public Servants in the country to imbibe and cultivate the culture of physical fitness and health consciousness towards ensuring a productive and healthy nation.

Senator John Owan Enoh gave the charge today when he flagged off the October Edition of the monthly keep-fit aerobics in preparation for the 2023 Federal Public Service Games (FEPSGA) which held at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

He stated that the Ministry of Sports Development was ready to collaborate and partner with any organisation or body to develop programmes and initiatives that will not only encourage sports development in the country especially in such areas as promotion of 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 for optimal service delivery, but also, to provide our teeming youth with job opportunities so as to alleviate poverty amongst them with a view to having a safe and peaceful environment for Nigerians.

He observed that " a healthy nation is a productive nation, and by enhancing fitness and health consciousness amongst the Public Servants we can contribute to the overall well-being of the citizens. Through effective collaboration between the Ministry and FEPSGA, we can come up with initiatives that target both the male and female adults in the Public Service that will encourage them 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, FEPSGA as a coordinating body in this area 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 ".

The Minister 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.

Senator Enoh 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 FEPSGA therefore, is to come out with advocacy towards encouraging the entire Federal Government workforce to imbibe the culture of physical activity, health consciousness and ideas with a view to adding value to the lives of an average Nigerian by ensuring efficient service delivery in line with the policy thrust of the present administration., he stressed.

While commending the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation under the stewardship of Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan and FEPSGA for initiating and sustaining the programmes even in the face of the current economic challenges, Senator Owan Enoh called on the workers to take advantage of the programme to be mentally and physically fit for optimal performance in their respective offices and ease stress as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Senator Owan Enoh, who was decorated as the Captain of the 2023 FEPSGA aerobics exercise

added that, in 2002, WHO declared the need to imbibe the culture of physical and mental fitness and called on policy and programme makers across the world to encourage physical fitness in the policy programmes of government.

While pledging to flag off the opening ceremony of 2023 FEPSGA Games, the Minister informed that physical fitness will not only increase the physical and mental state of an individual at the optimal, but also the productive capacity of the Federal Public Service in Nigeria in line with global realities.

In her remarks during the exercise, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, thanked the Honourable Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh for accepting and coming out to flag off the October Edition of the monthly keep fit Aerobics Excercise in preparation for the 2023 Federal Public Service Games.

Represented by the Director Occupational Hazard and Safety Department in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation Dr Mrs Comfort Adeosun, Dr Yemi-Esan assured the workers that this year's pillar which is number six, aims at improving the proposition and well being of the Federal Public Servants in the country.

She stated that an able workforce will be a productive workforce, adding that "if you are not healthy, your performance will be low, thus affecting efficient service delivery to the citizenry", Yemi-Esan said.

Also, the former Minister of Youth and Sports Development Barrister Solomon Dalung while addressing the workers during the exercise advised them to be resolute and not to loose hope in the present administration but continue to provide unflinching support to the new leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in its resolve to move the country forward.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health Ms Daju Kachollom also assured that the Ministry of Health is committed to the realization of a healthy workforce that will efficiently drive the policies, programmes and initiatives of the Federal Government for the betterment of Nigerians.

Earlier in his opening remarks, President Federation of Public Service Games (FEPSGA), Mr. Aloku Amebi stated that the monthly keep-fit aerobics exercise is one of the cardinal programmes of FEPSGA aimed at improving physical fitness and general well-being of all cadres in the Public Service.

He stated further that this month's edition marks the end of the keep-fit aerobics exercise for the year in view of the preparation for the 2023 Annual Public Service Games which is billed to hold in December 2023.


Media Office of the Honourable Minister of Sports Development.

October 28, 2023

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