The federal government has commended Nigerian athletes at the on-going African Games in Rabat, Morocco following their attitude in regards to their daily allowance controversy.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr Olusade Adesola who spoke to newsmen in Abuja said that the complaints by some few have been appropriately addressed.
The Ministry said that the $100 daily allowance being paid to the athletes is based on the amount provided in the Budget for the African games.
‘I can understand how the athletes feel but it is a circumstance beyond our control because we are working based on the allocation of resources for the African Games. As it was in 2018 Gold Coast CWG, the Ministry is committed to operate within its budget and to pay what has been approved rather than making promises that might be impossible to fulfil” he said.
“Besides, the rate of payment of the daily allowances and other entitlements has availed the Federations before departure for the games. The Ministry wondered why this suddenly became an issue upon arrival in Morocco.”
“It is believed that the attempt to smear the image of the Ministry is by few terminal athletes and those who knew they would not achieve podium performance to discourage the patriotic ones and frustrate their promising careers. The athletes are reminded that 17 Sports in the Games have the AG as their qualifier to the 2020 Olympics”.
The Ministry enjoins the patriotic athletes to remain committed to their course, remembering their commitment to venture into building their career.
“In the meantime, the Honourable Minister has engaged via video link with a section of the athletes and charged them to be good ambassadors of the country.”
Nigeria went to the games with a small contingent compared to the size of athletes at Congo Brazzaville.