Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, has endorsed the fund raising partnership between the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI) and the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 2 secretariat.
Speaking in his capacity as the president-in-council, Dalung said yesterday in Abuja that because government alone cannot fund sports, such partnership became necessary.
â€œThis is the new trend in the world today. Government cannot fund sports alone. We need more private sector funding in the management of sports development in the country.
â€œI want to specifically thank the many efforts at grassroots sports development funding championed by the NSDFI team. We are proud of you. By the legal powers conferred on me, I endorse this legal agreement and wish it will benefit the children and youths of West Africa,â€ observed the Nigerian sports minister.
In his speech, the NSDFI Director General, Olajide Fashikun, said, â€œfive sports federations will enjoy these grants. Weightlifting has been removed from the list. Taekwondo, Wrestling, Athletics and Cycling are to enjoy the grants. We delayed the choice of the 90 athletes until after the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
According to the former Zamalek SC handball player, â€œby the 10th of April, the National Athletics Development Centre shall take root from the South West centre in Ondo State. Every region shall have its own centre. Four centres of excellence shall also be delivered. Swimming is in Rivers State. Governor Nyesom Wike has already approved this. Wrestling is in Bayelsa. Shaibu Amodu Centre is in Edo State while the Middle and Long Distance centre is in Plateau State.â€
He revealed that, â€œevery beneficiary shall have a comprehensive insurance coverage, an annuity plan of five years to guarantee their post-sport years, living allowance of N75,000 per month, N250,000 for kitting, N5million annually to attend international championships to help them peak for the games. There is also N1m for their coach, N850,000 performance bonus if they meet agree benchmarks.
â€œWe expect about 10% of these 90 athletes to give us a minimum of bronze medals. Meaning, we expect no less than 10 bronze medals in Tokyo. If they do, they will get N5m for their efforts. If they deliver silver, we shall pay them N7.5m and if they deliver gold, they will get N10m.â€
General Manager of AUSC Region 2, Caleb Gidado said, â€œfollowing directive by the first session of the Council of Ministers meeting that the secretariat should source for additional funds for its programmes, we embarked on the search for partners which culminated in the mutual alliance between us and the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc. The signing of the MoU between our two organisations today bears testimony to our willingness to work together for the good of West African sports community.