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Senate grills sport minister Dalung

The Senate Committee on Sport on Thursday grilled Nigeria Sport Minister Solomon Dalung in Abuja.

After failure to honour the Upper Chamber’s invitations, Dalung finally showed up on Thursday to brief the senate on preparation for the 2016 Olympics and other issues.

According to tweets from Dalung’s media aid Nneka Anibeze, Chairman Senate Committee Sports Hon Obinna Ogba said they didn’t order the arrest of the Minister for Youth and Sports, after he failed to honour previous invitations.

Dalung, while briefing the house said “we are hopeful that Nigerian athletes will make a better outing in Rio. We’ve made good progress in the preparation of athletes for the Games. It’s a bit more difficult for us now because of the exchange rate. Funding for our remaining programmes is unavailable.

“We had a shortfall of N13b which wasn’t captured in the budget and I raised an alarm.”

But Hon Mao Ohuabunwa said Dalung “will need a Presidential approval for additional funds now to avoid a national embarrassment.”

On the NYSC issue, Dalung said “the budget is not speculative. There are figures to show that there are more corps members than before.

The minister also talked about the leadership crisis that have bedeviled the Nigeria Football Federation for many years.

“The NFF crises, the problem is deep rooted, spanning over ten years. You can’t stop Nigerians from going to court when the FIFA statutes have not been domesticated into the Nigerian law.

“I have brought both parties together but there’s insincerity of purpose within them. They must accommodate one another.

“We must try to get the matter out of court and dialogue with the parties.

Ogba raise concerns over the neglect of the U23 football team, saying they don’t even have water to drink.

But Dalung was quick to blame it on the leadership crisis rocking the NFF.

“The problem with the U-23 team’s camp is peculiar to football. The crisis has scared investors away. We’ll see how we can assist.

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