The former Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr Amos Adamu, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently release the needed funds to the Rio Olympics-bound Team Nigeria, through the sports ministry.
The Games get underway on August 5 in Brazil.
Adamu noted that, the presidency should put aside the long wait for the Sports Ministry to retire the N2.9 billion released for the 2015 All Africa Games and the Rio 2016 camping, and do the needful by speedily releasing the N2billion to execute the Olympic Games proper.
“Time is running out fast and there is no time to start pressing the sports ministry to retire funds earlier released last year. The truth of the matter is that there is no way the former DG of the Sports Commission, Alhassan Yakmut, wouldn’t have retired the funds he collected before being posted to another Ministry.
“But at the moment, that is not the pressing issue, but for the Team Nigeria members to get to the venue of the Olympics early enough so as to participate in some friendlies that would go a long way in preparing the athletes and coaches for the challenges of the Olympics, since Team Nigeria didn’t embark on a comprehensive foreign training tour,” he stated.
The former FIFA and CAF executive committee member, stated that the issue of N2.9 billion will be revisited after the Rio Olympics, but the Team Nigeria’s good performance at the Games is what should be the priority of the Federal Government now.
“The president should also remember that the Team Nigeria athletes strived hard to qualify for the Olympics and they deserve a fair chance to compete for honours at the Rio Olympics,” Adamu noted.
He added that those suggesting that the number of athletes for the Games should be reduced, are only calling for bigger troubles for Nigerian sports as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would come down heavily on the country with sanctions that would cost a lot of foreign exchange to offset.