President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, with ensuring that the Super Eagles put up a decent performance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Buhari said the nation must not go to Russia to become a “spectator”.
According to Dalung, the president made this known over the weekend while receiving the report of 2017 sporting activities and 2018 sporting plans of the ministry.
Speaking with State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting, Dalung said,
“Well, the president encouraged me to in 2018 sustain the tempo of the successes recorded so far in 2017 especially with the World Cup in Russia.
“He challenged me to ensure that Nigeria does not go to Russia a mere spectator.
“Of course I also informed him that part of the measures we have taken to address some of the challenges is to ensure that by March all the players are paid their match training and camp allowances upfront but for the bonuses is in terms of progression according to performance at the World Cup.”
The Sport Minister added, “2017 was a very good year in sports for Nigeria; we had the best outing.
“We had a democratic election into the federations and that has helped us tremendously because the federations are up and doing and they are hauling in medals in almost all the competitions.
“I briefed him about our plans for 2018 because it’s a sports year right from February to August, there is no dull moment. Right from CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN) to African Youth Champion in wrestling taking place in Port Harcourt, to Commonwealth Games scheduled for Gold Cost, Queensland. Australia, between 4 and 15 April 2018, to Basketball, the World Cup in June and the African Championship of the Athletics Federation In Asaba.
“We need the support of the president as usual and funding as it is required to enable our teams succeed.”
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