The committee set up by Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung to mobilise funds for Super Eagles’ participation at the Russia 2018 World Cup at the weekend revealed that Nigeria would need N3 billion to participate effectively at the competition.
The committee realised N80 million from its official launch in Abuja at the weekend although some of its patrons did not disclose the amount in their pledge to the body.
Nigeria is drawn in Group D of the World Cup, which will hold from June 14 to July 15, alongside Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.
Among the donors at the fund raising gala night for the Super Eagles held at the Banquet Hall, State House were oil and gas outfit, AITEO, which gave N50 million, Chairman of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, Chief Arthur Eze, who donated N25m, while Abia and Kano states announced N5m respectively.
Lagos and Kebbi states, as well as Total Nigeria, did not publicly disclose their donations.
Speaking at the event, Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung reiterated the Federal Government’s mission to mobilise ‘non- state resources’ for the country’s participation at the World Cup, noting that preparation and participation of national teams in regional and international sports competitions had sometimes been marred by funds constraints.
“We are prepared to change this unsatisfactory outcome with presidential support and guidance, as well as stakeholders’ engagement and buy-in.
“Knowing very well that government alone cannot shoulder all sports expenses, we have decided to strengthen our collaborations with the private sector to mobilise non-state resources.
“We are equally focused on ensuring that funds mobilized are judiciously used to facilitate and boost the participation of the Super Eagles in the tournament.
“We are determined to operate in line with our change agenda and Mr President’s anti-corruption posture.”
Earlier in his address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr Olusade Adesola, told the gathering that the budget for the Super Eagles preparations and participation at the Russia FIFA World Cup Final was estimated at N3 billion.
Out of the amount, he said N1.5 billion was expected from Government while the balance was proposed to be generated through fund-raising efforts.