By NBF News

The National Sports Commission (NSC) has struck a deal with Air Nigeria to airlift the Nigerian contingent to the 10th All Africa Games in Maputo which begins on September 3. The Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, was signed between the airline management and the NSC recently.

Director General of the NSC, Dr Pat Ekeji confirmed the deal saying it was the best Team Nigeria could get amongst all the airlines contacted.

'We have a fantastic deal with Air Nigeria to lift all the athletes and officials to Maputo,' Dr Ekeji said. 'We approached quite a number of airlines but we got the best bargain from Air Nigeria and even our athletes are delighted to fly the airline.'

The DG added that since the larger chunk of the Team Nigeria contingent could not go on training tour, the team would leave for the Games one week to the commencement of the Games so as to acclimatize.

'The team will leave one week to the Games,' he said. 'We want them to get used to the weather and possibly train with the facilities in Maputo. The other athletes on training tour will join the team in Maputo.'

Ekeji expressed confidence that the 10th edition of the All Africa Games will be Nigeria's best outside the country noting that the success of the last Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India will rub off on the confidence and performance of the athletes.

'Nobody gave Team Nigeria a chance when we were going for the Commonwealth Games last year. 'But we kept preparing quietly and we recorded one of the best outings in the history of the Games. I expect that to happen in Maputo because this is the longest time any Nigerian team has ever prepared for an international championship. These athletes have been in camp for almost two months now', he said.