Paris Olympics: Tinubu approves full budget for Team Nigeria

The Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Enoh, said on Monday that President Bola Tinubu has approved the entire budget estimate submitted for Nigeria’s participation in the 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics.

Enoh, who did not mention the amount approved, said this on Monday at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, while handing over the Team Nigeria athletes to the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Paralympic Committee of Nigeria (PCN).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NOC and PCN are expected to take care of the team till the end of the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, in France.

The Olympics is scheduled to hold between July 26 and Aug. 11, while the Paralympics will hold from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8.

The Minister said that the approval of the entire budget submitted for the Olympics and Paralympics was a sign of President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to the development of Sports in the country and his resolve to showcase Nigeria’s talents at international events.

”Part of what the president of our country has done was to approve the entire budget that was submitted for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

”We therefore, have no excuse to fail because we heard stories Olympics after Olympics, where there were request for certain amount of money were made and certain amount were approved.

”But in this case, the President has approved the entire budget, so, it is up to us and the athletes to try to reciprocate that gesture and encourage the president to do more

”This event, ordinarily is supposed to be hosted by the President and Commander-in-Chief, as the grand patron of sports in Nigeria. It is important that we state this fact and I stand here as the Minister of Sports representing the president.

”The President has continued to provide support and it took President Bola Tinubu to conclude things that have lasted over 20 years in the sports sector,” Enoh said.

According to the minister, there is no better time to surpass our record at previous Olympics especially the 1996 Games where Nigeria won two gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

”We must overcome our performance in Atalanta 1996 and we want to do so in a clean way; there is no better time to do so than now.

”We promised leadership and to tackle the challenge of anti-doping.
We try to fulfil the charter of the International Olympics Committee that requires a formal handover of athletes that have qualified for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The Minister commended the NOC and the Nigeria Paralympic Committee for qualifying athletes in 12 Olympics and four Paralympics sports respectively for the Paris 2024 Games.

Chargé d’affaires, French Embassy, Jean-François Hasperie, alongside Minister of Sports, John Enoh and NOC President, Habu Gumel, with some Olympics-bound athletes during the handover and farewell ceremony of the Nigeria Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

He said that the athletes have benefited from high calibre coaching and technical support ahead of the games.

”Beyond those preparations, our sports men and women were part of the Commonwealth Games in 2022, competed in the African Games and also competed in the various international championships to get to where we are today.

”These are part of comprehensive efforts by the Olympic and Paralympic committees as well as the Ministry of Sports Development applying the available resources to make sure that our preparations are tight.

Enoh said henceforth preparation for the next Olympics and Paralympics would commence immediately after the 2024 Paris Games.

Also speaking, Chargé d’affaires, French Embassy in Nigeria, Jean François Hasperie, urged the athletes to be good ambassadors of Nigeria while in France.

”Tolerance, resilience, discipline are the qualities needed at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

He urged Team Nigeria to ensure podium finishes in all the sports the country would participate in.

Habu Gumel, President of NOC, assured the Federal Government that that Team Nigeria would do the country proud at the Games considering the level of preparation and funds already committed to the Games.

Gumel urged the Federal Government to make budgetary provisions for Olympics preparation on yearly basis to avoid fire brigade approach.

NAN reports that sports wear for Team Nigeria, specifically designed for the 2024 Paris Games, was unveiled at the event which saw sports administrators and Olympics-bound athletes in attendance.

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