The Voice Newsmagazine
SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE RECEPTION FOR NIGERIAN ATHLETES AND OFFICIALS WHO DID THE NATION PROUD AT INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS
It gladdens my heart to play host to our dear athletes and officials who have consistently done the nation proud at various international competitions.
2. Nigerian athletes, despite prevailing challenges, have always proven to the rest of the world that the Nigerian spirit is indomitable.
3. On behalf of all Nigerians, I wish to specially express my appreciation and indeed that of the nation to our athletes and officials for the consistency, determination, willpower and penchant for success being witnessed in the sports sector in recent times. I urge the managers of this sector to keep up the momentum.
4. I wish to assure you that the Federal Government of Nigeria would not relent in its efforts to ensure that our sportsmen and women continue to excel in international competitions. I am particularly concerned about our participation at the forthcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games. We must not allow a repetition of the unsavoury experience at the London 2012 Olympics where Nigerian athletes failed to make it to the podium.
5. This Administration’s policy of “change” must reflect in the way we do things either as individuals or institutions. We must strive to be prudent in the way we manage our time, financial and material resources to ensure victory at the next Olympics. We must aim for optimal performance at all international competitions.
6. Your Excellencies, Great Nigerian Athletes, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to remark that today’s event is very special to me because, Almighty Allah has, in His infinite mercies and love, kept me alive to this day and granted me the privilege of being able to fulfill my promise in 1985, to reward the winners of the maiden edition of the FIFA Under-17 World Championship.
7. The reason for the 30 years delay is well known. It is however sad to note that a member of the 1985 Golden Eaglets is not here with us today. Please join me in observing a one-minute silence in honour of Kingsley Aikhionbare who died in London, in 1996.
8. It is a well known fact that so much water has passed under the bridge between 1985 and now. The State governments that were to implement most of the pledges to the players and officials have changed hands so many times under different dispensations and political parties.
9. In line with our belief that the “labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain” we will be saying thank you to our 1985 Golden Eaglets’ players and officials by using the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports template for rewarding outstanding athletes.
10. As you are all aware, the financial resources of our nation have been dwindling since last year. Hence what we are offering you today, is not payment or compensation for winning laurels for your country, rather, it is a token of appreciation for your efforts and patriotism while competing for your fatherland.
11. In this connection, I have the honour, on behalf of the Government and sports loving Nigerians to announce the following as token of our appreciation to our sports ambassadors:
2015 World Wrestling Championship
Wrestler (Bronze Medalists) N1,200,000.00
FIBA 2015 Male Afro-Basketball Champion, D’Tigers
Players (Gold Medalists) N600,000.00
Team Officials N250,000.00
2015 FIBA Africa Under 16 Female Championships
Players (Silver Medalists) N400,000.00
Team Officials N150,000.00
2015 IPC Asian Open International Powerlifting Championship
Gold Medalists N600,000.00
Silver Medalists N450,000.00
Team Officials N250,000.00
World English Language Scrabble Champion
Player (Gold Medalist) N1,500,000.00
Team secretary N450,000.00
WBC Silver Cruiser Weight Title
Winner (Title Holder) N1,500,000.00
2015 CAF Under 23 Cup Of Nations Champions
Players (Gold Medalists) N500,000.00
Head Coach N500,000.00
Assistant Coaches N300,000.00
Other Team Officials N300,000.00
2015 FIFA Under 17 Male Football Champions
Players (Gold Medalists) N1,200,000.00
Head Coach N900,000.00
Assistant Coaches N600,000.00
Team Secretary N300,000.00
Medical Team N300,000.00
Other Officials N200,000.00
1985 FIFA Under 17 Male Football Champions
Players (Gold Medalists) N2,000,000.00
Late Aikhionbare’s Next of Kin should collect his money on behalf of his family.
Thank you all and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.