Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has appealed to the National Assembly to appropriate sufficient funds for sports in the 2018 budget in order to record a meaningful success at the forthcoming sporting events in 2018, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Nigeria will feature in three major sporting events in 2018 – the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4– 15, the FIFA World Cup in Russia from June 14 to July 15 and the FIBA World Cup for women in Spain from the 22nd to the 30th of September.
Dalung revealed that the constant intervention from the federal government at critical times with financial supports to sports is not sustainable, hence a fund-raiser dinner will be held to help fund sports.
“We all know that the recent success of the Super Eagles who recently booked a 2018 Russia World Cup ticket was as a result of direct support from President Mohammadu Buhari who had to personally intervene at critical times during the qualification campaigns,” Dalung stated in a media release made available to Completesportsnigeria.com.
“A stakeholders dinner which will also include the National Assembly, state governments and all other concerned sports stakeholders will be organized soon to chart a new course of action for our participation at the World Cup.”
“In fact, let’s not be deceived. There was no budgetary allocation for the Super Eagles preparation for the 2018 World Cup in the 2017 budget.”
“We are not going as mere participants but as contenders with a new vision, culture and tradition of modern soccer and a determination to make an impact at the World Cup.
“With sports being a tool for effective service delivery which is capital intensive, it is imperative to have sufficient funds available to support every stage of the preparation in other to make a successful impact in Russia.
“By this token, I’m passionately appealing to NASS to support our participation by appropriating sufficient funds to sports in the budget next year and thereafter.
“The significance of sports in National development cannot be over emphasized, therefore, all stakeholders including state governments must rise to this clarion call of repositioning sports for the benefit of the youths.
“We are committed and we shall do everything possible to promote the image and integrity of Nigeria,” Dalung concluded.