One of Nigeria’s top banking brands, Union Bank, has given a huge boost to Team Nigeria athletes to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a cash support of N250,000 to every member of the contingent.
Each member of the Nigeria Olympic and Paralympic teams are to receive the cash award which officials say will be posted directly into their personal accounts once they make their banking details available. Persons whose banking details are unavailable will have the sum credited to Visa or Master cards in the name of the athletes.
The bank is also to support the Nigeria Olympic Committee with the sum of N5m to support their logistics and administrative operations.
Elated minister of youth and sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has received the gesture with high appreciation noting at this time that the country is facing financial challenges the offer will go a long way to raise the morale and spirit of the athletes into the games scheduled to open on August 5.
The Minister called on other private and corporate organizations to take a queue from Union Bank as government can no longer solely fund sports.
“When we invest in our youths and sports we are investing in the future but when we don’t help our youths through sports or other skills acquisition we are preparing for a harvest of criminals in future. So, I am pleading with other corporate bodies to come forward as it is never late to help our youths especially now that athletes are faced with so much hardship due to the state of the country’s economy,” Dalung said.
Team Nigeria athletes are expected to start leaving for Rio on Friday. The basketball team leaves on August 3 from Houston, USA after a friendly warm match with Team USA on August 2 while the football team (Dream Team) are schedule to head for Rio from their camp ground in Atlanta, Georgia.