The Chairman, Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba on Thursday, lamented the poor performance of Nigerian athletes in the just concluded Rio Olympics in Brazil.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Ogba attributed the poor performance of the athletes to non-release of funds meant for the exercise, recalling that his committee had invited the Minister of Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalong who repeatedly told the committee that funds were released to that effect.
He also explained that the committee at a point became curious and did find out from the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun who also confirmed to him that funds were released.
Ogba added that he was disappointed that on getting to Brazil, and discovered that the money was released after Olympics had been concluded, wondering why the present administration lacks commitment to Sports development.
“I could recall that my Committee invited the Minister of Sports three times to tell us the level of his Ministry’s preparation, particularly on funding and he assured us that funds had been released.”
“Out of curiosity, we asked the Minister of Finance and she confirmed that funds had already been released to Sports Ministry only to discover that it was not so. Is that the change Buhari-administration promised?, ” he asked.
On the largesse to the athletes by a Japanese Business Mogul which is generating controversy between Sports Ministry and the footballers, Ogba explained that it was inappropriate to receive that money, stressing that as responsible Nigerians, they ought to have verified the authenticity of the money and personality involved before accepting it.
“I am speaking in my personal capacity that it was wrong for our players to have collected the money because we don’t know the person and the source of his money. So we would have found out from their authority before anything,” he maintained.