By Dorcas Jonah
Solomon Dalung, Minister of Youth and Sports on Wednesday called on the National Assembly to allocate more funds to sports in Nigeria.
Dalung made the call in Abuja while receiving the victorious Nigeria Scrabble Federation National Team from the World English Scrabble Players Association Championship (WESPAC) in Nairobi, Kenya, led by its president, Suleiman Gora.
According to him, in the last two years, the ministry of Youth and Sports has done better than any other ministry because we have brought glory to the country.
“Since this is the situation, we need more funds to develop sports.
“A situation where federations that have made the country proud have yearly budgetary allocation of between N30 or N40 billion, which cannot even fund one trip is unacceptable.
“We have over stretched the commitment of our people because members of the federation had at all time been contributing their monies in order to sponsor trips.
“Let us demonstrate commitment as a government by providing better support so that we can take governance in the federations to the next level,’’ he said.
Dalung appealed to the private sector to develop interest in the sponsorship of different sports in Nigeria and invest in it.
“ The multinational companies should develop interest in individual athletes, pick and train athletes, this will be better for sports in the country” he further said.
He, however, pledged to constantly support the federation in all of its activities.
Earlier, Gora informed the Minster that Nigeria had emerged the best scrabble playing nation for the second time running in the history of the sports.
“We are making history for the second time. This is the first country in the world and the only Black Country to have won the championship back to back.
“In Nairobi, we got 54 countries participating from over the world and we had countries representation of 169 players.
“In scrabble the top 15 positions are the ones that are considered for winning positions. Nigeria had five of her players in the top 15.
“We went there as the World Champions in terms of country representation and on individual basis.
“I am happy to inform you that we fought gallantly for the individual position up to the finals, at the end of 32 games, Moses Peter of Nigeria come second,’’ he said.
Presenting the trophy, Gora called for more funds to help the federation to win more laurels for the country.