Lagos State Deputy Governor Dr Idiat Adebule has identified sports as veritable tools for crime reduction.
Sports, she said, remained an avenue to develop the young and encourage social integration.
Mrs Adebule said efforts were on to reduce crime, adding that attention will be paid to the provision of modern sports facilities and encouragement of young sports men and women.
She spoke while receiving members of the Green Team Nigeria, an international basketball organisation that promotes the development of the game among children in the country.
She hailed the team for doing Nigeria proud at an international competition held in Matera, Italy.
The deputy governor urged the team not to rest on its oars, but to strive for excellence in basketball, pledging government’s support for the group and related groups committed to the development of the sporting prowess of children, especially of Lagos extraction.
Green Team Nigeria president Jerry Frankie Aigbede described the group as the first African team to participate at the competition since its inception in 1993.
The children, he said, were delighted to participate at the competition, which he said exposed them to the culture of other countries.
He enjoined government at all levels to see sports as a development strategy for youths.
“In order to address the societal disadvantage, marginalisation and discouragement which the youths face today, government at all levels must use sports to take youths out of their present state of despair to sporting greats,” Aigbede said.