By Muhyideen Jimoh
The Federal Government has paid the allowances of all Nigerian athletes to the on-going 12th African Games in Rabat.
Mr Olusade Adesola, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, shortly after arriving Rabat to support and cheer Team Nigeria to victory in the Games.
Adesola who arrived Rabat on Monday was emphatic that the ministry was not owing the athletes any outstanding allowance for the Games.
“The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports is not owing athletes of Team Nigeria at the on-going African Games in Rabat, Morocco any outstanding allowance,” he said.
NAN reports that the clarification became imperative following reports in some quarters that some athletes were being owed allowances.
The Permanent Secretary commended all athletes, coaches and officials of Team Nigeria for their discipline and hard work in ensuring Nigeria achieve podium performances in the recent haul of clean medals.
He said the ministry was committed to ensuring that that Team Nigeria shoots to the top of the Games medal table.
Adesola added that the ministry had also revived the practice of bringing former Olympians to motivate the athletes, such as Falilat Ogunkoya and Olumide Oyedeji of the Athletes Commission.
NAN reports that 462 athletes and officials are representing Nigeria at the Games.
NAN also reports that Team Nigeria as at Tuesday morning were 6th on the Games medals table, with Egypt, South Africa and host, Morocco leading the pack for now.
It is however believed that the table will soon turn as events with Nigeria’s dominance such as athletics, weightlifting and football gets to the crucial medal stages.
The games which officially started on Aug. 19, will end on Aug. 31. (NAN)