By Salifu Usman, Abuja
Nigerian minister of Youth and Sports, Barr Solomon Dalung yesterday assured the new executive committee of Association of National Olympics Committee of Africa (ANOCA) of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s determination to ensure completion of the organization headquarters building in Abuja under construction in quick time.
The Minister gave the assurance while declaring open the ongoing 52nd Ordinary Session of ANOCA and inaugural meeting of the newly elected executive committee of the association at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
The Minister, who was represented by the acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Abdulrazak Salau, said the sum of N50millin (USD138, 888) was released to the contractor handling the project recently to fast track early completion of the building.
He added that the Nigerian government will commit a total sum of N314m (USD 872, 222) to the completion of the project.
“This administration headed by President Muhammadu Buhari will give ANOCA all the necessary support to ensure it smooth operation. In this regard, the pledge to build a befitting headquarters to have the secretariat of ANOCA in Abuja, recently received a boost when the sum of N50m (USD138, 888) was released to the contractor handling the project in order to fast track early completion of the building. “The total sum of N314m (USD 872, 222) will be pay by the government to complete the project. “Additionally, funds will be requires to furnish the building once the project is completed and I can also assure you that the build would be ready for commission in due course.
“I wish to assured you of Nigerian government support to your organization and Olympics movement at all time. Toward this end, the Ministry of Youth and Sports is always ready to collaborate with ANOCA in their sporting activities. I therefore wish the newly elected executive committee successive tenure,” he said.
Earlier, ANOCA president, Intendant General Lassana Palenfo, an Ivorian military general, said the new executive committees of Olympic Africa body are in Abuja to thank the government of Nigeria for its support to the development of sports in Africa, and also deliberate on issues affecting sports in the continent.
Speaking to newsmen on the important of the 52nd Ordinary Session of ANOCA, Nigerian representative on the board of ANOCA and president of Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), Engineer Habu Gumel, said a lot decision concern the development of sports in Africa will be taken during the 3-days meeting, and strategies for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“A lot of decision will be taken at the meeting and strategies for Tokyo 2020 Olympics because we have to participate and showcase Africa. We want to make sure that we improve on the medals we got at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”
The 52 ordinary session of ANOCA will climax tomorrow.