The Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, on Tuesday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the outcome of Nigeria’s outing at the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.
Speaking with State House correspondents in Abuja after a meeting with the President, Dalung disclosed that he briefed Buhari on the performance, challenges and progress recorded by Nigeria’s Rio Olympics contingent.
He said the President appreciated Team Nigeria’s performance and challenged the athletes and officials to do more at future international competitions for the country to move forward in sports development.
He said: “It is normal for you, after somebody has sent you, to come back and discuss with the person before you now start talking outside.
“So, all I did was to brief the President on our performance, the challenges we had, the progress we made.
“This is because in 2016, Nigeria was celebrated.
“Two Nigerian athletes, particularly Aruna Quadri and Chierika Ukogu, were recognised internationally in Rio.
“That is happening to Nigeria.
“It is an achievement.
“And I also requested from him (President Buhari) the support to get a date to organise a reception for our Dream Team VI, which got a bronze medal for us.
“He (President Buhari) also appreciated our performance and thanked us for doing the country proud and keeping the flag flying.
“He challenged us to do more for the country so as to move forward in sports.”
The minister dismissed calls for his resignation due to Team Nigeria’s “below expectation” performance at Rio, saying sports development’s problem in the country had gone beyond his resignation as minister.
Dalung said the country’s sports system needed a total overhauling, pointing out that the country must develop a sports developmental model where talents would be identified, developed and groomed.
Dalung proised that the National Youth Games would be fully resuscitated for identification of young talents to boost sporting activities in the country.