14 July 2016
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that anybody who does not have any business in the Rio 2016 Games should not be part of the contingent.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths and Sports, Chinyeaka Ohaa, made the disclosure on Thursday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Sports to brief it on the country’s Olympics preparations.
Ohaa said that paucity of funds for the Games necessitated the presidential directive on the account of the government list.
The permanent secretary who represented the minister, Solomon Dalung, doubted the possibility of accommodating the officials and legislators among the Nigerian contingent to the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“We have been directed by Mr. President that anybody who does not have any business in the Rio Games should not be part of the contingent.
“As you are all aware, it has to do with the paucity of funds occasioned by the general economic situation in the country”, Ohaa said.
The Reps committee members wondered how they would carry out their statutory oversight function of monitoring the Nigerian athletes.
The permanent secretary also revealed that there would be no chartered flight for the Nigerian athletes and the officials to the Olympics.
He argued that there was no basis to charter flight since many of the athletes and teams like the basketball are already outside the country.
Ohaa said it would be economical to make traveling arrangements with some airlines.
He said: “we are already discussing with some airlines like Air France among others to lift those in Nigeria.
The Reps Committee on Sports had summoned the Minister of Finance, the Accountant-General of the Federation and the budget office to appear before it on Monday.
They are to brief the committee on the delay in the release of funds in preparation for the Olympics.
The minister had earlier assured Nigerians of Team Nigeria’s capability to win at least five medals at the 2016 Olympics following the ministry’s request for additional N2 billion for the country’s participation in the Games.
The ministry had an initial budget of N500 million for the Games.