NASS has cancelled Commonwealth Games, Sports festival – Dalung
*No budget for the two items
*NFF gets N6.8billion, Ministry N7.7billion
By Oluwole Francis
As it is, there are chances that Nigeria may be missing from next year’s Commonwealth Games holding in Gold Coast Australia. She may not be able to hold the bi-annual National Sports Festival. Minister of Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung has hinted that the National Assembly (NASS) did not make budget for the items.
The minister who bared his mind in the course of addressing the fallout from the recently concluded Federations elections, revealed that the budget for sports was drastically reduced on return from the National Assembly.
By virtue of the finally approved budget, there is no provision for any major sporting activity outside the qualification and participation in the 2018 world Cup in Russia.
“Our budget that finally came back from the National Assembly had all our sporting activities removed. By the 2017 budget as it is, there is no provision for the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year and no provision for the National Sports Festival,” he said
Speaking further on predicament of the ministry Dalung submitted that it will not be an exaggeration to say only one item in the shopping list can be guaranteed.
“The NFF proposal for the World Cup campaign is N6.8billion while the entire budget for sports is N7.7billion. What this means is that all the money will go into the world Cup campaign and all other sporting activities will have to lie low and that is rather unfortunate,” he added
Only intervention by Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo the minister reasoned can offer other scheduled events this year and next year the needed lease of life.
On the crisis thrown up by the Federation elections, the minister regretted that some so called stakeholders who participated in the election are more interested in sowing seed of discord than contributing to sports development in the country.
“What sports needs are those who are ready to move it forward not those who are only concerned about themselves,” he submitted
While the next Commonwealth Games has been scheduled for 4th to 15th April 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. There are no plans yet on the grooming of the athletes for the Games lest its participation.
The situation is worse in the case of the severally postponed National sports Festival which Cross River state was to host.