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African Games: Buhari to host Team Nigeria

The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.

* as minister says Nigeria needs N1.2bn annually for stadia maintenance

President Muhammadu Buhari will soon host Team Nigeria which came second at the just concluded African Games in Rabat, Morocco.

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The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, spoke on the plan while briefing journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.

Dare said a decision would soon be taken on the appropriate date for the reception that would include D’Tiger and D’Tigeress.

He said the Morocco outing would be used as a benchmark for the 2020 Olympics preparation.

Nigeria won a total of 121 medals, including 46 gold, 33 silver and 47 bronze at the game.

Egypt emerged winner with 99 gold medals, 96 silver and 69 bronze to bring their total medals to 264.  South Africa came third with a total of 87 medals.

Dare, who said Team Nigeria had only seven weeks to prepare, added that it would have been better they had a longer period to prepare.

“So, there is a lesson learnt from there,” he said.

The minister, who said the athletes would leave for the Doha meet on Saturday, added that the outcome would determine Nigeria’s performance in the 2020 June Olympics in Tokyo.

The minister, who spoke on the ramshackle nature of stadia across the country, said it would require N1.2 billion annually for maintenance.

He said that the ministry was working on partnership with the private sector since it could not afford funds for stadia maintenance.

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