Nigeria’s representatives at the forthcoming Olympic games will meet with the President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja before jetting out to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
With what appears to be the poorest of preparations towards a global event, athletes and stakeholders in the sports ministry are expected to receive some pep both in words and kind as the team is yet to raise adequate funds to foot its bill in Rio.
Secretary of the Nigerian Olympic Committee Tunde Popoola in an interview with Brilafm confirmed that the athletes will meet with the nations president in Abuja.
The team currently has about N500 million approved by the federal government but the Sports Minister Solomon Dalung said that the team would need additional N2 billion to take care of expenses for the 95 athletes who have qualified for the games.
While we await the reaction of Mr president in response to the team’s urgent needs, the Director General of the Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze earlier confirmed that the Ministry of Youth and Sports will receive its budgetary allocation for the Rio Olympics on Wednesday.
It is quite obvious that the team not not been adequately motivated but Mr Dalung, believes the Ministry had done its best in preparing 78 athletes for 10 events despite the non availability of funds. It could be recalled that N2.2 billion released for 2012 London Games two months before the games, but Nigeria failed to register her name on the medal table and the the entire sports sector was overhauled by the previous administration during President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.
”He said what took place in London must be the beginning of a new momentum to place Nigerian sports at a level that will enable this country return to the glory it is known for in the areas of sports, Labaran Maku briefed newsmen after London outing.
“President Jonathan believes for us to change the present scenario we need to specialize, we need to plan and we need to fund sports in a way that this country will continue to make impact in the sporting sector.”
Government or administration they say is meant to be a continuum, it appears our sports ministry did not improve on the antecedents, hence, Nigerians must not expect a miracle at the Olympic.