Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung yesterday donated his one-month salary to the Elite Athlete Development Grant and called for private sector to partner with government in the development of sports in the country.
The minister, who acknowledged that government funding has contributed to the crisis in some of the federations, added that the quarrels would cease the day government stopped funding the sector.
Speaking while launching the programme in Abuja on Monday, Dalung said: “The cheap money being provided by the government has been the major factor that promotes crisis in our sports sector.
“If sports were funded by the public through Non-Governmental organisations (NGOs), few people will be interested in the boards.“This NSDFI initiative is a right step towards joining other nations that do well in sports through public funding, and I urge sports loving individuals and organisations to donate and support the fund.”
Dalung reminded NSDFI management of the importance of transparency and accountability in handling such fund.“Public donors deserve transparency in the use of their money.
“Individual and corporate donors will only give more if they are satisfied with the way their investment is managed.”Earlier, NSDFI promoter, Olajide Ayodeji Fashikun had revealed that 90 beneficiaries of the grant would be supported to intensify their preparations for Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“We have improved the future for you if you follow it through. In 1994, we had less than two years to support this sort of preparation. It worked magic. This fund supported those who prepared for Atlanta’96. We hope this will work well too,” Fashikun said.