By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-Despite the dwindling economy, President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged an all-time support for sporting activities in the country.
Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalong made the disclosure yesterday after a meeting with the President.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that held behind closed doors, the Minister said that he gave the President updates on the recent happenings in sports, including the election of Amaju Pinnick as an executive member of the board of the Confederation of African Football, CAF.
He said: “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.
“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.
“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.”