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The Ministry of Youth and Sports on Thursday released guidelines to regulate the forthcoming elections into National Sports Federation boards, and one of such states that “candidates who have served two consecutive terms as President of their National Sports Federation shall not contest for the post of President of that federation.”

This decision was reached at a Congress of Stakeholders held in Abuja on Wednesday, April 13th, which was presided over by the Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, and had Federation Presidents, Secretaries, Board Members and the media in attendance.

The Guidelines are as follows:


1.1:​ The various Sports Federations (hereinafter called the National Sports Federation) (NSFs) have the authority to administer the respective sports recognized by the Federal Ministry of Youth &Sports Development (FMYSD) and affiliated to the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC)

1.2: ​This Election Guideline spells out the composition of the Board, Eligibility, Electoral Committees, Election Regulations, Electoral Appeals Committee, Inauguration, etc. To guide the conduct of the elections into the respective National Sports Federation Boards

1.3: ​The elections will be conducted by the respective National Sports Federations, with the Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports (FMYSD) or the National Olympic Committee (NOC) acting as election monitors.


2.1: ​Each Board shall comprise of:

  1. i) The President,
  2. ii) Vice President(s),

iii) 11 other members or as provided for in their relevant constitution or statute and

iiii) A Secretary General.

2.2​ Constituencies:

The Membership of each Board shall be drawn from the following constituencies:

  1. i) Six (6) Zonal Representatives (each representing a Geo-Political zone in the country);
  2. ii) One (1) Athletes’ Representative of the Sport;

iii) One (1) Institutional Representative;

iiii) One (1) or two (2) Representative(s) of International Sports body of the Sport.

Where there are more than two Nigerians serving in such International sports bodies, the two with the highest rank shall be nominated to fill the slots. Where two or more persons are on the same level at international sports bodies, the one with higher number years of membership of such body shall be nominated into the Board of the National Sports Federation.

  1. v) One (1) Representative of the National Association of Women in Sports (NAWIS);
  2. vi) One (1) Representative of National Association of Physical, Health Education, Recreation, Sports and Dance (NAPHER/SD);

vii) One (1) Philanthropist or an Ex-officio member or Sponsor ;

viii) One (1) Representative of the Technical Bodies of the Sport.



3.1:​ For a candidate to be eligible for membership of the Board of a National Sports Federation, he/she shall:

  1. i) Hold an educational qualification not below the West African School Certificate (WASC) or its equivalent;
  2. ii) Not be less than thirty (30) and not more than eighty (80) years of age as at the date of the election, except in the case of Athletes’Representative who may be below 30 but not less than 21 years of age as at the time of the election. Athletes’ Representative shall in addition be an active athlete or have retired not more than four years prior to the election. Such athlete must have also represented Nigeria in at least two major international competitions and with no drug related infraction.

iii) Have a clear understanding of the Federation’s responsibilities, values and norms;

iiii) Not have been convicted of any crime within or outside Nigeria;

  1. v) Be a confirmed citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to contest for the post of President;
  2. vi) Have a veritable source of income;

vii) Not be a member of any other sport other than the one they are vying for position; and

viii) Have a manifesto detailing the vision and plan as well as the strategies for the attainment of such plan towards the upliftment and advancement of the sport. The manifesto shall be made available to all electorates at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the elections.

3.2 President and Vice Presidential candidates:

  1. i) Who are occupying the post of president or Vice President of an international sport body shall not contest for the post of president or vice President of a National Sports Federation.
  2. ii) Who have served two (2) consecutive terms as President of their National Sports Federation shall not contest for the post of President of that federation.


4.1: ​Each NSF shall set up National Electoral Committee of not more than 5 members to conduct the National Election. The members of the Board of each NF as presently constituted shall not serve as member of the Electoral Committee.

4.2:​ Each NSF shall set up Electoral committee in each zone to conduct the Zonal election. The Zonal Coordinator shall coordinate all the elections at the Zonal levels.


The Electoral Committees shall:

  1. i) Supervise all elections in line with the Election Guidelines;​
  2. ii) Announce/declare results immediately after the elections; and

iii) Reserve the right to postpone any election/s if there is proof of violation of any part of the Election Guidelines.


  1. i) All voting shall be by secret ballot;
  2. ii) There shall be no voting by proxy at any of the elections (Zonal and National).

iii) No candidate shall be voted for in absentia.

iiii) Zonal Elections shall be held at the respective Zonal Headquarters of the FMY&SD. All Zonal elections shall hold simultaneously.

  1. v) The Chairman or a Representative of State Sports Associations in each Zone shall constitute the electorate for the zonal elections in their respective sports.
  2. vi) The Board Members Designate from the different constituencies shall form the electorates at the National level.

vii) Elections for the positions of President and Vice President of the respective NSFs shall be held in Abuja.

viii) All national elections shall hold simultaneously.

  1. ix) For an election to be valid, not less than two-third (2/3) of the total number of the electorate must be present and vote.
  2. x) Winners shall be decided by a simple majority of the votes cast.
  3. xi) In the case of a tie (draw), there shall immediately be another round of voting until a winner emerges;

xii) Three (3) nominations shall be allowed for each position, which must be seconded by a member of the electorate;

xiii) All contestants must sign an undertaking to abide by this Guideline and accept the decision/s of the Electoral Committee.


  1. i) The Chairman of an Electoral Committee shall announce the results of Election immediately after the conclusion of the elections.
  2. ii) Electronic copies of the results of Elections at the Zonal level shall reach the Chairman of the Electoral Committee at the National level within three (3) hours of conclusion of the elections. The duly signed copy of the results on the Federation’s letter-headed paper shall be forwarded to reach the Chairman of the Electoral Committee at the National level within 48 hours of the conclusion of the election.


7.1: ​In the case of dissatisfaction with any aspect of the conduct and/or result of the elections, a candidate may seek redress by submitting a written Petition to an Elections Petition Committee which shall be set up by the concerned National Sports Federation.

7.2: ​The Ministry of Youth & Sports shall immediately inaugurate a 7 -member Electoral Appeals Committee as indicated below to consider and decide on all appeals arising from the decision/s of the Elections Petition Committee/s. The Committee shall be headed by the Legal Adviser/Head of Legal of the Ministry.

7.3:​ The committee shall be composed as stated below:

  1. i) Director/Legal Adviser, FMY&SD​​​- Chairman
  2. ii) Director, FEAD​​​​​- Member

iii) Director GRSD​​​​​- Member

iiii) Director PMI​​​​​​- Member

  1. v) Representative of the NOC​​​- Member
  2. vi) Representative of States Directors of Sports.​- Member

vii) Assistant Director, HRM​​​​-Member/Secretary

7.4: ​Aggrieved contestants reserve the right to appeal to the Appeal Committee.

  1. i) Such appeal shall be in writing and addressed to the Chairman of the Appeal Committee, to reach him/her not later than 48 hours after the announcement of the results of the election against which he/she is appealing.
  2. ii) All appeals shall be submitted with a non-refundable fee of N50,000.00 (Fifty thousand Naira) only at the zonal level and N100,000.00 (One hundred thousand Naira) only at the national level.

iii) Appellants who are not satisfied with the decision of the Electoral Appeal Committee shall appeal against such decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) with the applicable fees.

  1. iv) The decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sports shall be final, and not subject to contest in any court of law;
  2. v) In the event of the nullification of an election result arising from the decision of the Appeal Committee, there shall be a bye-election within one (1) week of the decision.

7.5: ​In the principle of fairness and transparency, the Chairman and members of the Electoral Committee shall not serve on either the Electoral Petitions Committee or Electoral Appeal Committees.​


8.1:​ All elected Boards of the National Sports Federations shall be inaugurated by the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development at a date convenient to the Honourable Minister, but not later than four (4) weeks from the conclusion of elections.

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer at Making of Champions. She has a bias for athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the National Sports Festival and the African Athletics Championships, and has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). Yemi holds a BA in Public Administration from Ahmadu Bello University .


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