Written by Leon Usigbe, Abuja
Thursday, 05 July 2012
THE Federal Government yesterday said that it will not be sending any official delegation to London for the Olympics which begin soon to save cost.
Minister of Sport, Bolaji Abdulahi, announced this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, saying that it would be the first time in a long while an official government delegation would not be accompanying Nigerian contigent to a major sporting event.
This, he explained, was to prevent the situation in the past where such event was turned into a jamboree by officials of government.
He pointed out however, that it does not mean government officials such as state governors who have the means to sponsor themselves would not be at the games but it should not be seen as being under federal government sponsorship.
According to him, “what I can assure you is that for a start, there is not going to be any official Nigerian government delegation to this Olympics. This is the first time probably in a long time I know that you will not have an official government delegation to Olympics or a global event like this.
“Having said that, I want to also add that it is not always the case that there is anything wrong in officials being more than the athletes. For example, if you have one boxer; that boxer must have a physiotherapist; must have a coach and even a psychologist in some cases.”
“If you look at the American contigent, it is almost like the contigents of the other countries put together.
“What we are doing is that, we are taking all reasonable measures to ensure that every single person going to the Olympics has a business in the Olympics.