President Muhammadu Buhari approved a cash reward of N200 million for Team Nigeria delegations to the 2022 Commonwealth Games and World Athletics Championships on Thursday, September 15.
Buhari hosted a reception for the entire contingents at the State House in Abuja.
The president also bestowed national honours on the medalists, with Tobi Amusan, the world record holder in the women’s 100m hurdles, leading the pack.
Amusan, Ese Brume, Adijat Olarinoye, and other medal recipients received the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) honour.
Speaking at the athletes’ reception, President Buhari stated that his government is committed to rewarding excellence, especially for members of Team Nigeria who have ignited the spirit of victory in the country through stellar performances at international competitions.
Congratulating all the awardees and recipients, he expressed confidence that this will spur them to greater heights.
The president who described the athletes as champions, worthy ambassadors, national heroes and heroines, heaped praises on them for proudly flying the Nigerian flag in nine sporting events.
”I watched with millions of Nigerians those exciting moments when you all brought smiles to us and our homes by breaking world, national and games records, as well as achieving personal best in your careers.
”Your outstanding performances in recent times are consistent with the determination of a nation always yearning for excellent performance.
”You all, members of Team Nigeria have ignited the spirit for victory in our nation but even more you have been victorious in major sporting championships and games.
”I have followed keenly your achievements at the World Championships in Oregon USA and indeed your remarkable performance at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom,” he said.
Minister of youth and sports development Sunday Dare described 2022 as an outstanding year in the history of Nigerian sports, which will not be forgotten in a hurry.
Team Nigeria finished seventh in the overall medal standings at the Commonwealth Games and first in Africa with 35 medals, including 12 gold, 9 silver, and 14 bronze.