The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Habu Gumel, on Tuesday urged corporate entities to rally round the federal government in ensuring there was good support for Nigerian teams next year.
Mr. Gumel, who spoke at NOC’s 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, there was need for all-round support for Nigerian teams by corporate bodies through their contributions.
“We will be participating in various international competitions in 2018. Apart from the Commonwealth Games, there is the Youth Olympics and for the first time Nigeria will be at the Winter Olympic Games.
“I am therefore making a passionate appeal to the corporate entities in the country to rally round the Federal Government in ensuring we get the needed support through their contribution,” he said.
The NOC President urged National Sports Federations whose sports are participating in the 2018 Commonwealth Games to channel resources towards the preparation of athletes for a worthy outing.
Mr. Gumel said the NOC, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), has secured training scholarship for 10 Nigerian elite athletes.
He said this was to further support their preparations for the Games holding in Gold Coast, Australia in April.
“We are all aware that preparations for participation in the 2018 Commonwealth Games have started in earnest and we expect sports federations to play their own part in preparing their athletes.
“On our own part, we will continue to collaborate with the Federal Government to ensure that funds are made available on time.
“The Commonwealth Games has remained our point of strength over the decades and the Gold Coast 2018 edition should not be different,” the NOC president said.
On securing accommodation for athletes in Gold Coast, Mr. Gumel said the NOC has inaugurated a committee saddled with the responsibility of getting a befitting accommodation for Team Nigeria.
“Many other countries have already secured accommodation, but we are already working on our own too,’’ he said.
Mr. Gumel added that NOC’s AGM has always provided a platform for the body to review its activities in the preceding year and plot relevant strategies for improving sports in the country.
Speaking also, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, said the ministry would continue to collaborate with the NOC in moving sports forward.
Mr. Dalung, who was represented by the ministry’s Director of Grassroots Sports Development, Ademola Are, also urged the various sports federations to make their sports marketable for sponsorship to augment government’s effort.
“The Sports Ministry commends the NOC for providing technical support through training for sports officials and in other areas as well,” he said.
The Minister assured that the federal government would ensure adequate pre-Games planning and training to ensure Nigeria has a good outing in Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games.