Release adequate, appropriate funds for sports – Dalung tells lawmakers

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Nigeria’s Sports minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung has appealed to the National Assembly to release adequate and appropriate funds for sporting activities this year.

He made this known in a statement released by the Special Assistant on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze while announcing that there is a sports revolution currently ongoing in Nigeria.

He made the remark after Nigeria’s Wrestling team retained their title as African champions at the just concluded African Senior Wrestling Championship held at the weekend in Hammamet, Tunisia.

Nigeria won 6 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals to retain their title and were also adjudged the best women’s wrestling team in Africa.

2014 Commonwealth gold medalist Odunayo Adekuoroye was also named best female wrestler.

Barrister Dalung who expressed delight in their outing also praised the Federation for always making Nigeria proud.

“I congratulate the wrestlers and the Federation especially, for all your hard work. I thank you all for your perseverance in the face of serious financial challenges as you did not allow that to deter your performance. Your individual efforts will not go unnoticed.

“I also commend Champion Igali for ensuring that the Nigerian flag is always hoisted at local and international competitions whenever there is a wrestling competition. This goes to show the ongoing revolution in sports in the country, both administratively and in the output of athletes. In no distant time, Nigeria will be a force to reckon with, not only in Africa but globally. However, funding is still a great challenge to sports.

“We appeal to the National Assembly to make adequate budgetary allocations to sports. Sports is no longer a pursuit of leisure but a benchmark for social change and for industrial innovation.

“This year is a very busy year. We have the African Games in Morocco, Basketball World Cup in China, 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifiers, the Women’s World Cup in France , the Africa Cup of Nations and so many more. All these need heavy funding. We are appealing to NASS to appropriate adequate funds for Nigeria’s sportsmen and women to compete without hindrance in these upcoming competitions,” Dalung said.

The team is expected back on Tuesday evening via Turkish airlines. The Ministry of Youth and Sports will also hold a reception for the team at a date to be announced soon.

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