President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Hon Daniel Igali has informed Sports Minister, John Enoh of the non-availability of wrestling budget at the Ministry of Sports Development.
Igali made the revelation during a stakeholders meeting between the Sports Minister and National Sports Federation stakeholders in Abuja.
The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Sports informed stakeholders that Nigeria wrestlers have been camped for the forthcoming World Wrestling Championship in Serbia in the last two weeks.
He said the achievements recorded by Nigeria’s wrestlers in the last ten years speak volumes.
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The Olympic Champion said, “The Nigeria Wrestling Federation is one of the power hoses of sports in the country. Nigeria won six gold, four silver, and two bronze medals at the 2023 African Wrestling Championship held in Tunisia last May.
“We are preparing for the World Wrestling Championship in Serbia and the wrestlers are camped by the Wrestling Federation, I did not bother the ministry because I believe they will assist us when we want to travel for the World Championship. I want to notify you (Honourable Minister) that the Nigeria Wrestling Federation does not have a budget and we are hopeful things will get better during your time”.
Igali charged the Sports Minister to lead the charge to the private sector in bankrolling sports.
He said, “I am the commissioner for sports in Bayelsa state and I have a practical example. Whenever any sporting association approaches a commercial bank with a proposal of 1 million and I speak to them as a commissioner, they might end up getting over 5 million naira. During the State Sports Festival, the Ministry of sports (Bayelsa State) met with sponsors for partnership with a budget but we ended up getting more because of the intervention of the Governor.
“I strongly believe that if you lead the charge in talking to the private sector on behalf of the Sports Federation, we might enjoy a strong partnership under your reign as minister. I also want the minister to look critically into the issue of the National Lottery Funds because sports are yet to benefit from the funds”.