NSports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi said on Saturday in Abuja team work and good human relations would help lead Team Nigeria to success at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Abdullahi told newsmen the secret behind Nigerian athletes’ qualification for various sports at the Olympics was the willingness of everyone involved to work together with good intentions towards each other.
The Nigerian men's basketball team, D'Tigers, had on July 8 in Caracas, Venezuela, qualified for the Olympics to swell Team Nigeria at the Olympic Games.
They thus joined other athletes in table tennis, taekwondo, wrestling, weightlifting, boxing, athletics and canoeing who will compete for Nigeria at the Games holding from July 27 to Aug. 12.
''Ultimately, Team Nigeria's success story is attributed to God and then the willingness of everybody to work together.
''I think if you have good intentions and you are willing to work with everyone and everyone is willing to work with you, it is easier to get results.
''Most of the things that used to cause problems and led to failure most of the times were poor human relations. So, once you are able to manage human relations, you will have success.
''I was told that, for example, this is the first time we will be going to the Olympics and there won’t be any issues between the National Sports Commission (NSC) and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC).
''So, once you have been able to manage human relationship, with everybody on the same page, you will forge ahead.
``Afterall, at the end of the day, the only person that matters is the one who holds the Nigerian mandate,'' the minister said.
Abdullahi,who was optimistic of Team Nigeria’s success at the Games, added that being democratic in dealing with people usually brings about success.
''One of the most important things when dealing with people is to be as democratic as possible.
''If you are able to include as many people as possible in whatever you are doing, you will find out that the task will no longer be seen as that of an individual.
''And if you are no longer there, there will be so many people who are already convinced about the direction to follow and they will be willing to push it forward,'' he said.
The minister, who is also the NSC chairman, said Team Nigeria's success at the Olympics would be an eye-opener to the need to work together with the same agenda.
''If they all (NSC and NOC) go to the London Olympics and come back successful, everybody will know that there is merit in working together as we have done.
''Also, it will make them know that nobody is necessarily competing with anybody but working with the same agenda and Nigeria will be the ultimate beneficiary,'' he said.
Speaking on the Federal Government's decision to bar official delegates to the Olympics, Abdullahi said it was to effectively cater for the athletes.
''The decision was taken because of the kind of budget we have. Our budget is very challenging.
''For example, Britain has to spend about £300 million to participate in the Olympics, while Nigeria is spending about N2.3 billion.
``This is nothing compared to what other countries are spending. So, we have a responsibility to manage the funds, because our priority is the athletes.
''We have to make sure that they have their allowances, they are camped in a safe environment and we get the best coaches for them, amongst many other things.
''So, once you are able to invest in the athletes and make them your priority, you have little left to play with. So, we have to be focused,'' he said.
The minister said further that government’s idea in making that move was to work in line with the present administration’s transformation agenda and try to break away from the past.
''We are working in line with the transformation agenda and trying to break away from the past, where some people go on a jamboree all in the name of attending international competition.
''Where you find out that the delegates are more than the athletes, they go there as the official delegation of Nigeria and, in most cases, they want to take over the job of the coaches and technical crew.
``These people now go on to ask for entitlements, and everybody will now be busy catering for them instead of the athletes.
''So, we, at the NSC, believe we have to help President Goodluck Jonathan achieve the transformation agenda through this in our own little way,'' he said.