Nigerian Athletes Express Dissapointment Over Exclusion From Ministry’s N50,000 Palliative
Top Nigerian athletes have expressed their disappointment over their non-inclusion in the COVID-19 palliative by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
According to The PUNCH, several athletes questioned the rationale behind the disbursement of the relief funds.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, had directed the payment of N50,000 into the accounts of Nigerian athletes to provide relief in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Over 200 athletes are expected to benefit from the palliative. However, several top athletes have expressed reservations on the disbursements of the funds by the respective federations.
Top female wrestler, Odunayo Adekuoroye, said that she was yet to receive her share of the money.
“I didn’t get any money. I know the ministry wanted to reach out to athletes but, I never got any alert. I don’t know maybe there are criteria for disbursing the funds,” she said.
Enoch Adegoke, a sprinter, is unsure if his name is on the list of the beneficiaries.
“I have not received any money yet from the government but I hope that my name was included in the list,” he said.
But the General Secretary, Nigeria Boxing Federation, Sunny Obot, confirmed that two boxers Afeez Osoba and Bolanle Sogbamu have been paid.
“The ministry told us to send two names of our top athletes and we considered our best,” Obot said.
Osoba said the money has been helpful in keeping fit during the lockdown.
He said,” I have received my N50,000 palliative from the ministry. The money has gone a long way in helping me with my training and preparation for the 2020 Olympics.”
Meanwhile, factional President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Olamide George, pleaded with athletes yet to receive their share of the relief fund to be patient, saying every athlete would benefit from the N11m relief fund.
“I have told several people who have been calling me that it is the prerogative of the ministry, and the federation (AFN) is not against it,” George said.
“We are in support of what the minister is doing and we will always be supportive of it. It is a good initiative for our athletes, so, we are informed and involved in what has been happening.
“The list is in batches, that is the first batch (of athletes that have received the palliative), there will still be second and third batches. We should just be patient, the ministry will do the needful. If they have any issues, people can now raise it, we should wait for the whole phase to be completed.”