By Onochie Anibeze, in Berlin, Germany
Nigerians here mocked the Federal Government yesterday when news of their N250m vote to host the meeting of Africaâ€™s sports ministers reached Berlin , venue of the on-going World Championship, the equivalent of Fifa World Cup.
The same government approved only N15m to prepare the Nigerian team here.â€œIt is absurd, it is unbelievable that N15m was approved for the World Championship, the biggest event in track and field and our athletes are bemoaning while our government has approved N250m to host ministers meeting,â€ one official lamented.
It was more saddening to find out that the N15m approved has not even been released to the team and the athletics federation here had to borrow money for flight tickets and allowances. While the team camped in Abuja , they changed hotel three times as hoteliers were ordering them out for late settlement of bills. Athletes also picked up injuries during their Abuja camping described as â€œfrustrating.â€
â€œIt is laughable, it is just laughable and a confirmation of our governmentâ€™s indifference to sports development,â€ one top athlete said, adding â€œwhy should we not adopt other countries whereÂ sports is taken seriously?â€
Another athlete simply said that â€œit is not just worth killing oneself for Nigeria because they donâ€™t even care about us.â€
â€œWe are not just a serious country,â€ one journalist lamented.
â€œ Nigeria is a wonderful country,â€ one official mocked. â€œIt is the best country in the world,â€ another said.
President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Chief Solomon Ogba, has had issues with athletes who bared their minds to foreign media on governmentâ€™s lack of commitment in sports development. BBC celebrated one of such interviews.
â€œWhy canâ€™t we ever get things right in Nigeria ,â€ one US based Nigerian coach of another country said.
The said ministersâ€™ meeting is scheduled for Abuja in October-November.