…indicts FIBA over NBBF crisis
Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, on Thursday frowned at the low budgetary allocation to the ministry over the years in the country. Dalung, who was speaking at a news conference on the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, stressed that it was unfortunate that poor funding was affecting the development of sports in the country. He cited the example of the National Youth Games that was grossly undervalued with a budget of N9m approved for it.
The minister said: “Few years back, N300m was released for the Youth Games and we now have N9m for same event. That amount will not even be enough to pay for accommodation. “The legislative attitude to sports has to change.” Dalung showered praises on President Muhammadu Buhari for persistently coming to the aid of sports ministry at critical times.
“The President has been wonderful; he comes up with huge support each time we run to him. If not, Nigeria would have missed out on many major international competitions,” he said. The minister revealed that a unit in the ministry would be created to be in charge of linking up with athletes based abroad who are willing to represent the country in sports. He noted that it would be unfair to deny eligible Nigerian athletes based abroad simply because they are not staying in the country.
On the crisis ravaging the basketball federation, Dalung vowed to finally resolve the impasse soon. “FIBA came to the country to further add to the problem. We are taking legitimate steps that will resolve the matter. Very soon, names of all the federation presidents will be sent to all security agencies and any other person not on that list but still parading himself as President will be dealt with by the law,” he stressed.
Dalung also promised that the ministry would probe the circumstances that led to the non-inclusion of female table tennis players from the 21st Commonwealth Games that took place in Gold Coast, Australia. “We did not select athletes for the federations and when we learnt about the case of table tennis, it was too late to step in but we are going to find out what really happened,” he added.
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