All Africa Games
The directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that Team Nigeria must do everything possible to top South Africa and Egypt at the end of the 11th All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville will be fully implemented, says Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Al-Hassan Yakmut.
Buhari had on Monday given the NSC the marching orders to go to Congo and conquer Africa. He gave the directive when Yakmut led the NSC delegation to brief him on the activities of the Commission. Among the issues discussed was Team Nigeria’s preparation for Congo 2015 All Africa Games, which hold from September 4-19.
A contingent of 550 athletes and officials will begin their journey to Congo on August 30 for the Games. Team Nigeria’s advanced party left the country for Congo on Sunday to prepare ground.
Yakmut said yesterday that the first batch of Nigerian athletes, coaches and officials will depart on August 30. But the nation’s second batch, comprising athletics and wrestling will have to continue their training back home till September 13. Their event at the All Africa Games won’t commence until September 16.
“The athletics team and our wrestlers make up the second batch, and they will have to continue with their training in Nigeria until their events begin on September 16. This request is at the instance of both the AFN and NWF because they want to give their athletes the best of training for the Games,” Yakmut said yesterday.
Speaking on NSC presentation at the Villa on Monday, Yakmut said: “Mr. President has said we must make sure we beat South Africa and Egypt this time in Congo. It is a Presidential directive that we have to implement.( We briefed Mr. President on sports development in Nigeria and its retinue of social economic values.)
“Mr. President was impressed with the presentation, but he raised observation on the need for us to rekindle the exploitation of the medals available in swimming to make Team Nigeria top the All Africa Games table in future.
Part of the NSC’s brief to President Buhari was that the Sports Commission has seven departments and six units with a total of 1,113 staff and less than 35% as professionals in sports administration and other relevant disciplines.
The brief also revealed that the NSC has six zonal offices, a liaison office and 42 Sports Federations.
Two parastatals are under the supervision of the Commission, the National Institute for Sports (NIS) and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“Funding remains a big issue, but the Commission is working out modalities to address this, but would need Mr President’s support and directives,” Yakmut said.
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