President Muhammadu Buhari today made history by fulfilling a promise to reward the 1985 Golden Eaglets team that won the inaugural FIFA U-16 World Cup in China.
President Buhari was then Nigeria’s military Head of State.
Buhari described it as an act of God that he lived to fulfil that promise almost 31 years after it was made. He said his return to power in May last year has made the historic event possible.
He announced that each of the players, now retired, would get a cash gift of N2 million, while their coaches would be rewarded with N1.5 million.
Hosting the players and their technical crew to a reception at old Banquet Hall of the State House in Abuja, Buhari said the monetary gift was not to compensate them winning laurels for the country but a symbolic appreciation for their efforts.
Buhari also appreciated the current Golden Eaglets team that won the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.
He said each of the players would receive N1.2 million, while their coaches would get N900,000, and N600,000 would go to each of the assistant coaches.
The president also extended similar gesture to other athletes and officials who made Nigeria proud in recent sports competitions.
Each member of the Dream Team that won the U-23 African Nations Cup in Senegal last year got N600,000, while their coaches went home with N500,000 each.
The 2015 Afro-Basketball Male Tournament gold medalists got N600,000 each, while their coaches and team officials got N600,000, and N250, 000 respectively.
Members of the 2015 FIBA African Women Championship, who won Nigeria a silver medal, got N400,000 each. Each of their coaches was rewarded with N400,000, while team officials got N150,000 each.
The gold medalists in the 2015 IPC Asian Open International Powerlifting Championship in Almaty-Kazakhstan, were promised N600,000 each; silver medalists and coaches, N450,000 each, while team officials will get N250,000 each.
Wellington Jighere who won gold medal in the 2015 World English Language Scrabble Championship in Peth-Australia got N1.5m; his coach, Anthony Ikolo got N1.2m while the team secretary, Makano Adamu got N450,000.