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Getting Deeper Into The World Of Nigerian Minister  For Youth And Sports, Sunday Akin Dare

Not a few Nigerians were left aghast when President Muhammadu Buhari announced this veteran journalist’s name as one of the men and women who would work with him as ministers from 2019 to 2023. Different opinions started cropping from different quarters as to the choice of this man. To some, he is a godson of a powerful political godfather and a top leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress while others believed that he got the job on merit having proven his mettle as a thorough bred journalist and public analyst. Welcome to the world of Sunday Akin Dare.

Born 29 May, 1966, Sunday Dare is a Nigerian journalist who has worked in diverse aspects of the media, they include broadcasting (TV and radio), journalism (electronic and print), and decades of multimedia journalism experience spanning over 25 years. He was the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), an appointment he was nominated for by President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari in August 2016. He currently serves as Minister of Youth and Sports of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was appointed on the 21st of August 2019.

Dare, who hails from Oyo State had his secondary school education at Baptist High School in Jos, Plateau State from 1978 to 1983, shortly afterwards he studied for an Advanced Level education at Oyo State College of Arts and Science, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He thereafter gained admission to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) honours in International Studies in 1991. His quest for knowledge motivated him to delve further to obtain a Master of Arts (MA) in Law and Diplomacy from the University of Jos, Plateau State Nigeria in 1996.

Dare was opportune to be selected as a Freedom Forum Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the School of Journalism – New York University (NYU) in 1998. His professional excellence positioned him for another highly esteemed international experience; Harvard Nieman Journalism Fellowship at Harvard University between 2000 and 2001 where he enrolled for Media and Public Policy studies. In 2011, Dare once again distinguished himself among his contemporaries from across the world and won the Reuters Foundation Journalism Research Fellowship at University of Oxford, United Kingdom where he contributed to the body of knowledge in the field of media, and researched “New Media and Citizen Journalism in Africa – A Case Study: Using New Media Tools and Citizen Journalism to Investigate Corruption in Nigeria.”

Sunday Dare has over two decades of journalism experience spanning over 25 years before 2016 when he was appointed as Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) where he is charged with the responsibility of managing the NCC’s interface with public and private sector stakeholders.

Prior to his appointment at NCC, he was the brain behind the birth of Social Media Clinic (SMC), a Media/Information Technology (New Media) program aimed at providing information as well as educating private citizens on IT development and sensitizing the members of the public on usage of new media as a tool for building responsive society. He managed the aforementioned role together with serving as the Chief of Staff / Special Adviser on media to former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In 2009, Dare was appointed Senior Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of Information and Communications. While serving in this capacity he managed decisions on all subject matter that revolved around media and communications, as well as public information dissemination and media policies that fell within the jurisdiction of the Ministry. Additional responsibilities in his portfolio included supervision of operations of the Nigerian Communications Commission and feedback to high ranking officials and the Minister of Information and providing recommendation on prospect and pitfalls in Nigeria’s telecommunications industry. Dare also played instrumental role in the meetings that held between the leadership of NCC and top executives of the Ministry of Information and Communications. Dare’s iconic moment in the Ministry was being a member of the Minister’s advisory team that initiated and executed the sale of the 2.3GHz spectrum frequency in 2014.

Dare served as Chief, Hausa Service, African Division at Voice of America (VOA) in Washington, DC between 2001 to 2009, in this capacity he managed multifarious portfolios. Other than managing the daily production of radio and online broadcast programs, he ideated, designed and implemented the acquisition of modern Information Technology and Telecoms gadgets for production and distribution activities such as news-gathering, content storage, program distribution etc. to expand content capacity and reach; as well as increase existing target audience. He also led a team of eleven International Journalists based in Washington DC; alongside twenty-four news correspondents based in West Africa for Voice of America.

In his early days as a Journalist, Dare multitasked as a correspondent with several foreign publications including The Nation magazine in New York; as well as working with the European backed Fourth Estate magazine as a production editor during the military interregnum in Nigeria. Other journalistic role Dare took on during the military era in Nigeria include being a pioneer member of the Nigerian weekly magazines The News and Tempo; serving as an Editor, Tempo magazine and pioneer Online Editor/General. He was recently appointed minister of Youth and Sports in Nigeria.

Dare is a well decorated professional with numerous awards to his name. He has been honoured both locally and internationally, including being recognized as one of the fifty Leading Nigerians during the Nigeria’s Golden Jubilee anniversary celebration in North America. He also emerged the winner of the Voice of America Meritorious Honour Award 2009 in recognition of his sterling leadership and professional contributions in Africa and Diaspora. Additionally, Dare was listed as a member of International Committee to Protect Journalists Citation in 2000 in New York, USA in recognition of his spiritedness as a journalist.

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