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FG Plans Reward For Victorious National Teams

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ABUJA: Nov 16, (THEWILL) - The Federal Government has disclosed plans of an all-encompassing reception in December for national teams which excelled at various competitions this year, during which a bumper reward package will be unveiled for the victorious sportsmen and women.

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who dropped this hint at a cocktail reception in honour of the victorious Super Falcons last night at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, also assured of government’s preparedness, in conjunction with the National Assembly, to adequately fund sporting activities in the country as a way of propelling sportsmen and women to excellence.

President Jonathan praised the Falcons for their hard-work and discipline which saw them clinching not only the coveted African Women Championship gold for a record sixth time, but also the highest goal scorer, Most Valuable Player and Fair play awards at the just concluded championship in South Africa.

“We sincerely thank you, young ladies, for hoisting our green and white flag in the soil of South Africa in a way that brought Nigeria dignity and honour. We are proud of you for taking all the honours and colours at the championship.”

“The Federal Government is happy that most of you are very young people. This is an indication of hope for Nigeria because the young people are now making us proud. We will encourage you to go higher and higher. “Jonathan stated.

The President went on to disclose that a committee headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation is already working out modalities for a grand reception to honour not only the Super Falcons but the previous silver-winning Golden Eaglets and Falconets teams, as well as members of the Nigerian contingent to the Commonwealth Games in India, pointing out that he would not announce any reward until the committee concludes its work.

“Rest assured that we appreciate you and by the time we unveil what we have for you in December, you will all be happy to be Nigerians,” the President said.

Speaking, First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan congratulated the Falcons for a “superlative outing” noting that all Nigerians are proud of their achievement.

“By your performance, you have given weight to our campaign that as women, we can contribute significantly to national development. I commend your patriotism, zeal and hard-fighting spirit,” Mrs. Jonathan said.

In his own remarks, Senate President, Senator David Mark, noted that it is a highly commendable feat that the Super Falcons team won gold under the tutelage of its first female coach, Eucharia Uche, while pledging that the National Assembly will continue to support sports and women development initiatives in the country.

Other dignitaries at the cocktail reception were Vice President Namadi Sambo, House of Reps Speaker, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed, new Head of Service of the Federation, Oladapo Afolabi, and his predecessor, Steve Oronsaye, Minister of Sports, Ibrahim Bio, his Petroleum and Women Affairs counterparts, Diezani Alison-Madueke and Josephine Anenih, distinguished National Assembly members, sports administrators and Presidential aides.