BY JOE APU
The incessant cries of sporting federations and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will finally come to an end tomorrow as the ministry will be given its budgetary allocation for the Rio 2016 Olympics by the budget office.
Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze gave the assurance on Monday at a stakeholders meeting with the House committee on Sports.
Akabueze stated that his office had a budgetary allocation of N600m for the Olympics. N415.6m was for preparations of Olympic and Paralympic Games and an allocation of N184.6m to the Nigeria Olympic Committee to facilitate the Games proper out of which the ministry had sought the release of N503, 977,710m.
“You will recall the late approval of the budget and the challenges of processing this release which was occasioned by the long public holidays. The bottom line is that in a day or two, the funds will be released” the DG assured. One of the committee members and President, Cycling Federation of Nigeria Hon. Mohammed Nur Sheriff however urged the Budget office to also take a step further to ensure that the funds needed for the games were paid to the ministry in dollars to save them another long process of getting the foreign exchange value. The Olympic village opens to athletes on July 24 while the opening ceremony is billed for August 5 2016.