On Thursday in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari authorized National Honors and cash prizes of N200 million for Team Nigeria’s contingents to the 2022 Commonwealth Games and World Athletics championships.
At a reception for the athletes hosted by the President, he said that his government is committed to rewarding excellence. He said that this includes members of Team Nigeria who have sparked the nation’s desire to win by doing well at international competitions.
He congratulated all the winners and awardees and said he was sure that this would push them to do even better.
The President praised the athletes for proudly flying the Nigerian flag in nine sporting events. He called them champions, good representatives, and national heroes and heroines.
”I watched with millions of Nigerians those exciting moments when you all brought smiles to us and our homes by breaking world, national and games records, as well as achieving personal best in your careers.
”Your outstanding performances in recent times are consistent with the determination of a nation always yearning for excellent performance.
”You all, members of Team Nigeria have ignited the spirit for victory in our nation but even more, you have been victorious in major sporting championships and games.
”I followed keenly your achievements at the World Championships in Oregon USA and indeed your remarkable performance at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
”And I am very pleased that you displayed at both the personal and group levels great sporting talents and delivered for your country great podium performances,” he said.
The President told the athletes that their hour of sporting glory beamed the ‘‘radar of the world on Nigeria’’, adding that their exploits have gone a long way in projecting the positive image of the country.
”Twelve times the world stood still as our green, white green national flag was hoisted and the National Anthem recited. Thirty-five times we made it to the podium. You all Team Nigeria made that possible.
”You brought glory and honour to our country. And today, on behalf of the nation- I say, THANK YOU!”
President Buhari called out the names of the gold winners and other medal winners, including the world champion in the 100m hurdles, Tobiloba Amusan, Ese Brume, Blessing Oborodudu, Oluwafemiayo Folashade, Taiwo Liadi, Ikechukwu Obichukwu, Bose Omolayo, Favour Ofili, Nasiru Sule, Ifechukwude Ikpeo
The President was happy with how the Adopt-An-Athlete Initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports had helped athletes do better. He said that this administration was still committed to making sure that young people could reach the top of their chosen careers.
He asked more private individuals and companies to back the government’s investment in sports, which has been changed from a hobby to a business to be more in line with how things are done around the world today.