At a reception at the Presidential Banquet Hall, Aso Villa, President Mohammadu Buhari honored with cash rewards outstanding athletic heroes and officials who did Nigeria proud in both old and recent sporting competitions.
The event was organised to honor all athletes who won different medals for the nation in various international sporting tournaments.
President Buhari announced a reward of 2 million Naira each to members of the nation’s Under-16 Golden Eaglets that won the 1985 FIFA Championship in China when he was military Head of State, while their coaches got N1.5m. The Next of kin of late Kingsley Akhionbare is to get his on behalf of the family.
The President thanked Almighty Allah for His infinite mercies and love, for keeping him alive and granting him the privilege to fulfill his promise to the winners of the maiden edition of the FIFA Under-17 World Championship in 1985, stating that the reward given to them was not payment or compensation for their services to the country but a “token of appreciation” for their efforts and patriotism while competing for their fatherland.
The U-17 team that won the world championship last year were also rewarded with N1.2 million each while the chief coach, Emmanuel Amuneke was given 900,000.00 and his assistants got 600,000.00 each.
The team secretary and medical team got 300,000.00 each, while other officials got N200,000.00 each.
U-23 AFCON Champions and their coach were rewarded with N500,000 each. Nigeria’s National Basketball team, D’tigers got N600k each while their Coach got N600k. The U-16 female basketball team that won silver at the FIBA Africa Basketball Championship in Tunisia were rewarded with N600k each. Their coaches also got same amount while other officials got N150k.
Also rewarded were the Athletes at the IPC Asian open (powerlifting). The winner of the Gold medal got 600K, Silver 450k & coaches 450k. Officials got N250K.
World scrabble champion, Wellington Jighere was rewarded with N1.5m while his coach got N1.2m & his team security got N450k.
In November last year, President Buhari had assured the 1985 batch of Golden Eaglets that his administration would fulfill the promises made 30 years ago.