Yahaya Mohammed, Vice-President, Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, has called on the Federal Government to release funds early, to ensure adequate preparation of athletes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Mohammed stated this in Abuja that the country’s poor performance in previous Olympics was due to poor preparations.
He said that government’s prompt release of funds would go a long way in helping the federations to prepare adequately for the Tokyo Games.
“One major problem we have in Nigeria is lack or late release of funds, which leads to late preparation. This is a major problem that cuts across all the federations.
“In Nigeria, we don’t prepare on time for any competition. We are supposed to make all our selections two or three years ahead of the competition.
“But in Nigeria, what we have most time is the “fire brigade approach’’ which is not good. We are supposed to make preparations on time.
“We should put our athletes in camp a year or two before the Olympics year.
“What we have in Nigeria is that it is in the Olympics year or even in the same month that we will go to camp.
“We are calling on the Federal Government and private organisations to look into Nigeria’s sports,’’ he said.
Mohammed appealed to the government to make good its promise of giving federations their budget to manage
“In 2016, the National Assembly called on all federations to come and defend their budget, but the money was given to the ministry to appropriate.
“But this year, the government has promised that the money will be given to the federations to appropriate.
“We have submitted our programmes for 2017 to the National Assembly, and we hope we will be given our money directly,’’ Mohammed said.