Nigeria to honour African Games medalists

Timothy Choji, Abuja

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The Nigerian government says it will soon host a special reception in honour of the country’s athletes that won laurels at the recently concluded African games.

Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, made this known while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the National female and male basketball teams, otherwise called ‘The Tigress and The Tigers,’ would also be honoured for making the country proud.

He said “As to whether there will be a presidential reception for medalists from Morocca, yes there will be. The Ministry of Youth and Sports has written the Presidency, so that the President can give us a date that is suitable.

“Beyond the medalists form Morocco, we are going to have ‘The Tigress and The Tigers.’  The Tigress won the Afro Basket gold medal while The Tigers qualified for the Olympics, so when you look at it, we are virtually African champions when it comes to both female and male basketball so there will be a reception definitely,” he affirmed.

On whether there will be cash rewards for the athletes, the Minister said the Sports Ministry has recommended that but it completely remains the President’s exclusive discretion to do so.

“As to whether there will be a package with it, I am not the President that is left entirely at the discretion of the President but we’ve made recommendations,” he said.

The Minister, who praised the remarkable achievement of Nigeria’s contingent to the African games, said he briefed the Federal Executive Council on the successes recorded at the continental sports fiesta.

He said the country came over all 2nd on the medals table, with 127 medals, comprising 46 gold, 33 silver and 48 bronze medals, adding that female athletes garnered 74 medals while their male counterparts garnered 50.

On the dilapidated condition of stadia in the country, Mr. Dare said the facilities suffered neglect in the past but the current administration is working hard to restore their glory.

Nnenna.O