Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung has sought President Muhammadu Buhari, to seek his intervention in providing the N1.3 billion needed for hosting the National Sports Festival in Abuja next month.
He also sought Buhari’s intervention in the 21-day ultimate by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to sanction Nigeria over her inability to have an independent national anti-doping agency devoid of government interference, and for regular random dope tests on Nigerians sportsmen and women.
Dalung disclosed to State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Buhari to brief him on he activity of his ministry.
According to the minister, the sports festival scheduled to start on the 6th of December, is under threat after the initial private sector partner, which was supposed to contribute N400 million of the budget, backed out and left government with no option but to provide more than its own N900 million contribution.
Dalung said he asked President Buhari to quickly intervene to make the Federal Government provide the funds to ensure the successful hosting of the national sports fiesta, which had not been held in the past six years.
On the 21-day ultimate by WADA, Dalung noted that while Nigeria has not been found wanting in cheating with drugs, the process of converting the anti-doping agency under the presidency would require a quick interface between the President and the National Assembly to have the appropriate legislation in place.
He raised the alarmed that, if WADA sanctions or delists Nigeria, sports in Nigeria will be grounded as no national sports association will be allowed to participate in global tournaments.
Dalung said he looks forward to a quick resolution after meeting with Buhari to ensure bigger development of sports in the country.