The Government of Nigeria has announced a N3billion budget to spruce up its national team, the Super Eagles for a successful outing at the 2018 World Cup 2018 which starts on June 14 in Russia.
The Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung declared this to State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting he had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
“We have a conservative budget of about N3billion but out of that N3bn, FIFA is going to raise about N900m; our sponsors and partners are also going to bring about N600million. Government will conservatively raise about N2bn or N2.5bn to complement,” the minister said.
According to the minister government wants to ensure that the players get their allowances upfront – latest by March 2018.
Dalung said, “One of the challenges we have been facing in sports administration is the welfare of the players and the officiating team and we intend to set a new approach to the question of welfare.
“By March, we intend to start paying the players their allowances, camping allowances upfront. That will go a long way to boost the morale of the players and their confidence too.
“The new method of governance in football has taken the pattern of change. We will also ensure that there is unity within the football family.
“Unity, too, is a key factor going by some of the reports we had in the past where poor performances were attributable to lack of unity between the family, the technical team, the officials and the players. This time, unity has to be promoted.
“Finally, we will also ensure that government makes funds available on time. That is why the budget for the competition has since been sent to the President for a special intervention so that government can make provision for some of the funds we need for training now before other things can come up.”