Buhari bails out Super Eagles for Zambia clash
Dalung disclosed this at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while dismissing media reports which suggested that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) did not have funds to fly the National team for the crucial World Cup Qualifier.
“Our international obligations which include bonuses and insurance among others have been sorted out despite the fact that we face economic challenges,” he said adding that he would travel with the team in order to give them moral and physical support.
Nigeria is in Group D alongside Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia.
He said: “Yes, we are facing economic challenges. But the President has been quite supportive. On Sunday, I could not go to church. I had to sit to draft a memo which was taken to the President on Sunday. He approved funds to be provided for the team to travel; that is how serious this government takes sports. So, I think that there is no need for much panic or fear. So, Nigerians should support the Super Eagles and pray for their success. We wish them a successful outing and to win the ticket of the group to represent our zone in the World Cup; that is our prayer.”
Dalung also dismissed the insinuation that the Paralympians had not been rewarded.
“It is not correct for anybody to assert that they have not been rewarded when he has not done the job of verification very well. The reward for Paralympians was automatic.
“I supervised the payment of bonuses of $5000 for gold medallists, $3000 for silver medallists and $2000 for bronze medallists. So, those raising the issue that they had not been compensated may not by aware.
“Even, Yakubu, who had a world record, but due to administrative lapses, was unable to be presented to defend his medal, I insisted that it will be unjust to exclude him from those who have got medals. His record was not even beaten by the person who took the medal. The difference was that he was not presented by the country.
“So, I instructed that he must also get $5000 as a gold medallist. So, it is not correct to say that they have not been compensated. After the reward from the ministry, there is a need to get presidential blessing. So, if Nigerians are talking about the presidential blessing, I have written the president.
“As soon as we get his approval, a day to honour those who have made Nigeria proud will be announced. Let’s not lose touch of the fact that we as a country are undergoing certain challenges. So, we must do things based on reality on the ground,” the minister also said.