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Nigerian Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare has fulfilled his promise of ensuring that the country’s junior and youth athletes who represented the nation in the CAA U-18/U-20 championships in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire in April 2019, be paid allowances owed them by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria during  the leadership of now suspended President, Shehu Ibrahim Gusau.

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Nigerian athletes competed in the aforementioned competition under harsh conditions, having to travel by road for three days and were denied their allowances despite the fact that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development had released N13m for the competition. Charles Himah who is the athletes’ representative on the board of the AFN, and Honourable Olamide George (Acting President of the AFN), appealed to the Sports Minister on behalf of the athletes to save the situation.

Honourable Sunday Dare who stated at the start of the new year that athletes welfare is a top priority in his sports development policy did not fail to live up to his promises after ordering that the athletes be paid part of their allowances.

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We are very grateful to the Honourable Minister for coming to the rescue of the athletes who were subjected to indecent treatments just because they wanted to represent their country, Nigeria…With Mr Dare as Sports Minister, our sports, especially track and field is surely in good hands…We are meeting on Thursday and part of what we shall discuss will be welfare of athletes. We are not happy that we begged the Sports Minister to bail us out after approval was received for Nigeria’s participation in the Abidjan championships and money duly released.

Olamide George


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This article was first published on 23rd January 2020


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