The much talked about Presidential rewards to athletes who did the country proud in 2010 is now a source of concern to some of the country’s sports men and women who feels it’s another white elephant project.
Some of the athletes who don’t want their names in print while speaking on the Presidential rewards which was earlier billed for the first week of December maintained it is high time the attitude of promising and failing be stopped.
“It is no longer news to hear about such things from government people, they are all talk and no action. If the money had come when they said they will give it out, it would have helped all of us during the Christmas and New Year celebration but being what they are known for, they disappointed us all.”
Another Europe base athlete said the presidential reward was a good initiative but as usual, is now going the Nigeria way whereby it is all talk and no action.
“Rewarding athletes by the president is a good initiative but we all know what is up tenable in Nigeria. But it is a shame that the event has been delayed too much after the momentum has gone down and piling up several teams for rewards could be cumbersome.
Similarly, a Super Falcon player says she sees no reason why government is delaying the reward to the real people re-branding the nation while the same government is giving out presidential awards to politicians.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the harmonization committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to work out a harmonized package for sports men and women, Dr. Patrick Ekeji said that the committee has concluded its assignment and has submitted its report to the presidency for approval.
Ekeji said the committee is waiting on the president to fix a date for the colorful ceremony that will take place in Abuja.
“The committee has done its assignment and has submitted its report to the Secretary to the federal government for approval. Now we are waiting for the president to pick a date for the ceremony which will take place in Abuja soon. After the ceremony, our athletes’ will all smile home or to the bank,” he promised.
It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan set up a committee to harmonize a reward package for sports men and women which did the country proud in 2009/2010 and the team includes: Team Nigeria to the Senior Africa Athletics Championship in Kenya, Nigeria Junior Athletics team to Canada, the Super Falcons, the U-20 female team, the Falconets, the U-17 female team, Flamingoes as well as the male U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets.