The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, has said that Nigerian athletes won over 700 medals in various sporting activities under his leadership in the last three and half years.
Speaking during the extraordinary meeting of the National Council on Sports, Dalung said, “In the past three years I took over as the sports administrator of the country, Nigeria has been able to win over 700 medals in various sporting competitions that we participated in and this is quite historic.”
The minister charged state governors to change their attitude towards sports development in the country by making budgetary provisions for athletes to ease their sufferings.
“I am still going back to the National Economic Council to address the governors on sports development in the country. If you bring high blood pressure testing machines here, most of the sports directors will have high blood pressure not because of their problems but because they had no money to take care of their athletes during competitions,” Dalung was quoted as saying.
“During the Abuja sports festival, a sports director came with a contingent to compete in women sports; they didn’t have money and accommodation, they were sleeping under the staircase of the stadium and the team eventually won bronze,” he said. Dalung added that it was ironical that the same states who didn’t care about the welfare of their athletes, gave them a red carpet reception on their arrival from the Abuja NSF.”
He applauded the Edo State Government for winning the hosting rights for the 20th edition of the NSF and putting facilities on ground for the successful hosting of the competition.
Also speaking, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, said his administration was building mini stadiums across the 18 local government areas of the state to ensure sporting activities are done without any hassle.
“Since we got the hosting rights, we have commenced the rebuilding of the Ogbe Stadium, including sporting facilities inside, building hostels, among others. We want to host the best National Sports Festival ever in the country,” Obaseki said.