The House of Representatives on Wednesday asked the Ministry of Finance to immediately release funds to the sports ministry so that it could mobilise Nigeria’s contingent to the forthcoming Rio Olympics.
The Rio Games will start August 5, but the House expressed shock on Wednesday that Nigeria had yet to mobilise its team to the global sporting fiesta to be held in the Brazilian city.
A member from Kano State, Abubakar Nuhu, who sponsored a motion on the development, told the House that the report of Team Nigeria not being mobilised was sickening.
Nuhu said a serious country’s team would have been going through vigorous camping with just weeks to the Games and not the unsavoury news of no funding.
He noted that part of the problem seemed to be “the challenges associated with the availability of foreign exchange which may also affect the level of preparations.”
Lawmakers, on listening to Nuhu, directed the Minister of Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, to liaise with his Minister of Finance colleague, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation as well as the Budget Office of the Federation to ensure that the funds were released urgently.
The House said Nigerians would not accept any excuses that the team failed to excel in Rio due to lack of funding.
The motion secured the support of all members present at the session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.