Abuja (Sundiata Post) — President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that his administration remains committed to the development of sports, despite the economic challenges facing the country.
The Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, disclosed this to State House correspondents, shortly after meeting behind closed doors with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Dalung was in the Villa to brief the President on the development in sports since he was away on vacation.
He also informed Buhari of the successes recorded so far in CAF, where a Nigerian, Amaju Pinnick, has been elected an executive member of the board.
“I came in to brief the President on the development in sports since he went on vacation and returned. I also informed him of the successes recorded so far in CAF where a Nigerian has been elected an executive member of the board.
“I updated him on the need for us to intensify our mobilisation efforts for the World Cup qualifier. Although we are topping the group, it is not yet Uhuru for us. We need to do more.
“I drew his attention to the fact that we have received the Queen’s Relay Baton, which kickstarts the mobilisation for Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018.
“The baton is a commonwealth tradition, which is always flagged off by the Queen and she did that in March. It has been to six African countries with Nigeria being the seventh and it will proceed from here.
Dalung (left) Buhari (right)
“The significance of the baton is its wake up call to countries to begin to prepare for the games. Nigeria has always performed very well in the games. There is a need for us to try and surpass our record in the next games,” Dalung said.
Dalung said Buhari assured him that despite the economic challenges facing the country, his administration remained committed to the development of sports.
“The President appreciated the briefing and congratulated Nigeria for clinching the seat of the executive member of CAF and the progress so far in sports.
“He promised that even though we are economically constrained, government will do everything possible to ensure that it continues to support the progress of sports generally,” the Minister said.
Dalung said he also used the opportunity of the briefing to update Buhari of other developments in the sports sector.
Meanwhile, the Minister has said the nation’s appearance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup holding in Russia was not yet a done deal, despite topping the qualification group.
The Minister said there was the need for the country to do more, if it must qualify for the mundial.