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Nigeria needs N7 billion for 2016 Olympics – Sports Minister

By on October 1, 2012

The Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi, has revealed that Team Nigeria will need N7bn to be at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Abdullahi, who decried Nigeria’s poor outing at the London 2012 Olympics, said that the money would be used, among other things, to source for and train quality athletes while also restructuring the various sports federations.

He added that President Goodluck Jonathan will host a special retreat on October 22 where plans for the 2016 Olympics would be discussed.

“The President believes Nigeria should win nothing less than five medals at the next Olympics and he is not leaving anything out to get our athletes ready,” Abdullahi said. “We’ll need about N7bn to prepare the team for the Games.

“Government alone cannot carry the burden; the corporate sector has to weigh in. The private organisations will not come in because they are nice people; they’ll only come in if we presented it as a business proposal, and they see it as a worthwhile investment otherwise we’re not going to make any impact. I believe all those issues can be tackled in no time,” he added.

Abdullahi had yet to overcome his disgust at seeing the national stadiums in Lagos and Abuja in sorry states, saying playing was on to have them managed by private organisations.

He said, “It’s a shame and I’m embarrassed that these huge monuments of our sports could be left to decay over the years. The question is, when the National Stadium in Abuja was constructed nine years ago, what was the maintenance plan for the facility? Is there any maintenance plan? If there was, what happened to it?

“You can’t put in place this kind of infrastructure and hope that it would take care of itself. At the London 2012 Olympics, the organisers were clear about what they are going to do with the facilities after the Games.

“At the time of building the stadium in the name of Nigeria 1999, what plan did we have? There wasn’t any plan on ground, that’s why we’re where we are today. Routine maintenance cannot help hence we’re talking about giving the stadiums out on concession. We’re trying to get organisations that can manage the stadiums, especially in Abuja and Lagos .

“The President has set up a small committee headed by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to look at what we can do with some of the infrastructures.

“But why I’m angry is that while we’re working on this long-term plan, what does it cost us to keep the stadiums clean and trim the grass. It’s embarrassing (especially) when someone in my Commission is the Director of Facilities.”

The Minister also told The PUNCH that the planned reformation for the Nigeria Institute of Sports would not mean the loss of jobs at the institute.

“We’re starting with a fact-finding mission to determine what is wrong with the institute,” he said.

“The traditional role of the NIS is to train sports workers – coaches, athletes and so on. But we want it to play a greater role like the English Institute for Sports which was vital in turning sports around in Great Britain .

“I wouldn’t say we’ll relieve anyone of his position; this is not about individuals, it’s about the institute.”






Source: PUNCH

One Comment

  1. benneth_ibe

    October 2, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Sports Minister, Bolaji, could you please tell Nigerians how many Billions it took your ministry to train the Atletics that disgraced Nigeria in the last Olympics. Bolaji, please,Billions will not make the Magic come Brazil Olympics. If you don’t know ask questions and you will find answers. Number one, and most important, Nigeria needs to go back to the Basics or the back to the Foundaations. Exellence and good results in sports starts from the primary schools. That is what makes USA so great in sports. Talents developments starts at the ages of 5 and above. Look for the files in the sports ministry both at the Federal level and States. How many BILLIONS did it take Sam Dankaro to succed as NFA Chairman during his time. How many BILLIONS did it take Sam OGBOMUDIA to succeed in sports as Governor of Bendel. Isaac Akioye succeeded as Chairman National sports Commission without BILLIONS. It took Chief. Jerry Enyiazor nothing to put together the first National Sports Festival in Lagos after the Nigeria- Biafra war. It was through these sports meetings, including the NUGA Games, the Academical Soccer Competetions, the LAFA League etc etc that produced all the great names that made Nigerai Super and respected all over the World. Without BILIIONS, Nigeria produced great names like, Sunny Ohyerikwa, Albert onyeanwuna, Tesma Thunder Balogun, Modupe Oshikaye ” Queen of the track” Evelyn Okeke, Chidi Imo, Innocent Egbunike, Chirman Chukwuemeka Christian Chukwu, Slow poison Idowu Otubisin, Adisa Amusa, Giant Emmanuel Okala, Jossy Donbrayee, Sam Garuba Okoye, Baba Otu Mohammed etc etc. It did not take Nigeria BILLIONS to produce the Champion in Soccer among the Secondary School all over the World. CKC Onitsha and Camel Nwokocha achieved that in 1977. How many BILLIONS did it take Nigeria to win her first ever Continental Trophy in 1976, when Shooting Stars of Ibadan did Nigeria pround by winning African Winners cup. Don’t let me to tell you to go and ask all our local Coaches who worked and produced RESULTS. OH, miraclous coach, Dan Anyiam, Ajulo Chris Udemezuo, Pubilus Nzerem, Tunde Dusu, Alabi Esen, Monday Sinclair, Eto Amaechina, Ifejuku( Stationary Stores), just the few. As a sports minister, how many BILLIONS did it take Jim Nwobodo, Emeka Omerua or Maj. Gen Herry Adefope when Nigeria qualified to go to the 1976 Montreal Olympics, but, witdrew.
    Bolaji, if this job is too much for you, kindly resign today. I wii take few millions to put Nigeria back to where Nigeria belongs in sports. Last, from today, Re-introduce and let every school, primary, secondary and Universities have Games Masters, Games Mistresses and coaches in the high institutions period. Do these, come Brazil Olympics, Nigeria will be in a better position to compete and medals like other countries.