Rio Olympics funds ready to­mor­row

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

The Min­istry of Youth and Sports will re­ceive its bud­getary al­lo­ca­tion for the Rio Olympics Games to­mor­row, the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Bud­get Of­fice of the Fed­er­a­tion Mr. Ben Ak­abueze has said.

Speak­ing at a meet­ing of the House com­mit­tee on Sports held with the Min­istry of Youth and Sports, the Ac­coun­tant- Gen­eral of the fed­er­a­tion, the Nige­ria Olympic Com­mit­tee and the Di­rec­tor- Gen­eral, Bud­get Of­fice of the fed­er­a­tion at the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, as­sured that the funds would be ready by to­mor­row.

The Deputy Chair­man, House com­mit­tee on Sports, Hon Anayo Nnebe had en­quired why funds bud­geted for the Olympic Games were yet to be re­leased barely three weeks to the open­ing cer­e­mony.

“The com­mit­tee re­solved to in­vite the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance, the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Bud­get, the Ac­coun­tant -Gen­eral of the fed­er­a­tion, the Min­is­ter of Youth and Sports De­vel­op­ment, the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary and the Pres­i­dent of the Nige­ria Olympic Com­mit­tee be­cause Nige­ri­ans are wor­ried that up till now, funds have not been re­leased for the Olympics.

“The im­pli­ca­tion is that al­most ev­ery part of prepa­ra­tions for the games is on hold. We can’t pre­pare with­out funds. Re­leas­ing funds just a few days to the games will not be good enough to pre­pare the ath­letes for the games,” Nnebe said.

The Min­is­ter of Youth and Sports De­vel­op­ment Bar­ris­ter Solomon Dalung how­ever as­sured that the Min­istry had done its best in pre­par­ing 78 ath­letes for ten events de­spite the non-avail­abil­ity of funds.

“Lack of funds has damp­ened the morale of the ath­letes at this time. They could have suf­fered from psy­cho­log­i­cal in­con­ve­niences in­clud­ing poor nu­tri­tion, non -pay­ment of al­lowances and other so­cial prob­lems and may not give you their best. The money is not just about train­ing for the Olympics but other spe­cial needs of the par­tic­i­pants. The fail­ure to re­lease funds up till this this time has placed us in great jeop­ardy. We have run out of good­will be­cause we haven’t even been able to pay back money bor­rowed in the cause of wait­ing for funds to be re­leased,” Dalung said.

In his re­sponse, the Di­rec­tor-gen­eral, Bud­get of­fice of the fed­er­a­tion Mr. Ben Ak­abueze stated that his of­fice had a bud­getary al­lo­ca­tion of N600m for the Olympics. N415.6m was for prepa­ra­tions of Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games and an al­lo­ca­tion of N184.6m to the Nige­ria Olympic Com­mit­tee to fa­cil­i­tate the games proper out of which the min­istry had sought the re­lease of N503, 977,710m.

“You will re­call the late ap­proval of the bud­get and the chal­lenges of pro­cess­ing this re­lease which was oc­ca­sioned by the long pub­lic hol­i­days. The bot­tom line is that in a a day or two, the funds will be re­leased,” the DG as­sured.

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