Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has endorsed the fund raising partnership between the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI) and the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 2 secretariat which was signed in Abuja on Tuesday.
Dalung speaking in his capacity as the President-in-Council said, “this is the new trend in the world today. Government cannot fund sports alone. We need more private sector funding in the management of sports development in the country.”
“I want to specifically thank the many efforts at grassroots sports development funding championed by the NSDFI team. We are proud of you. By the legal powers conferred on me, I endorse this legal agreement and wish it will benefit the children and youths of west Africa.”
In his response, the NSDFI Director General Olajide Fashikun revealed that four Sports Federations will be beneficiaries of the grants.
“Taekwondo, Wrestling, Athletics and Cycling will enjoy these grants. Permit me sir to regrettably mention the first chairman of the Elite Athlete Development Committee, Mr Austin Mgbolu, who recently passed on. We will delay the choice of the 90 athletes until after the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
“The National Athletics Development Centre from April 10 will take root from the south West centre in Ondo State. Every region shall have its own centre. Four centres of excellence shall also be delivered. Swimming in Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike has already approved this. Wrestling in Bayelsa, Shaibu Amodu centre in Edo State and the Middle and Long Distance centre in Plateau State.”
He revealed that, “every beneficiary shall have a comprehensive insurance coverage, an annuity plan of five years to guarantee their post-sport years, living allowance of N75,000 per month, N250,000 for kitting, N5m annually to attend international championships to help them peak for the Games, N1m for their coach, N850,000 performance bonus if they meet agreed benchmarks.
“We expect about 10% of these 90 athletes to give us a minimum of bronze medals. Meaning, we expect no less than 10 bronze medals in Tokyo. If they do, they will get N5m for the effort. If they deliver silver, we shall pay them N7.5m and if they deliver gold, they will get N10m.”
General Manager of AUSC Region 2, Caleb Gidado said, “following directive by the 1st session of the Council of Ministers meeting that the secretariat should source for additional funds for its programmes, we embarked on the search for partners that culminated in the mutual alliance between us and the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc. The signing of the MOU between our two organisations today bears testimony to our willingness to work together for the good of west African sports community.