Daily Trust (Abuja)

16 September 2012

Nigeria: Jonathan Splash Awards, Millions On Falconets, Paralympians

Photo: Vanguard
Nigerian paralympic team.

President Goodluck Jonathan has lavished millions of Naira and National Honours on Nigeria's Paralympians and U20 Women team at the just concluded Paralympics Games in London and Women World Cup in Japan respectively.

Speaking at the "Special Reception" staged for the athletes at the State House on Saturday night, President Jonathan said the gesture was to appreciate their efforts.

The Women U20 team, Falconets only settled for the fourth position at the World Cup but received commendation from FIFA as well as analysts for their robust style of play.

On the other hand, the country's representatives at the Paralympics Games won six gold medals, five silver medals and two Bronze medals to occupy the 3rd position in Africa and 22nd in the world.

The six gold medallists will each receive a national honour, Member of the Niger (MON) in addition to their cash reward.

The prize

According to President Jonathan, all gold medallists would receive N5million each while silver medallists were to go home with N3million each.

Those that won bronze medals got N2million each even as athletes who won nothing had their palms greased with N500,000 each for donning the country's colour at the games.

Their officials also got N2.5m each as rewards.

In the same vein, the Falconets were to receive N1m each while their officials get N1.2m each as a reward.

Jonathan commends athletes

"You competed against the very best in the world and you stood to be counted. In bracing the challenges, you have made our country proud.

"I wish to particularly commend the exceptional courage of Team Nigeria paralympians who not only made sure that the national anthem of Nigeria was played at the event but equally demonstrated to our fellow countrymen that physical challenge is not barrier in greatness," Jonathan said.

He also commended the Falconets for their exceptional performance at the FIFA Women World Cup, noting that they would help propel the senior team (Falcons) to greater height.

Jonathan reiterated his commitment to the development of sports in the country, stressing that the sector was important to his transformation agenda.

Similarly, the Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who said the event was a memorable one, commended the athletes' performance.

He said the greatest honour to the Nigerian teams was to commence an immediate preparation towards 2016 Paralympics.

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