President Goodluck Jonathan has placed a target of 36 medals, including five gold medals on the Nigerian contingent at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The president said this at a Monday at a presidential sports retreat with the theme “Harnessing the Potential of Nigeria’s Sports Sector: From Playground to Podium” held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Team Nigeria did not win a medal at the last Olympics in London.
Miffed by this failure, the President identified adequate investment and proper governance structure as necessary ingredients for the country to be among the top sporting nations in the world. He says his administration is committed to Nigeria becoming the best sporting nation in Africa and among the top four in the Commonwealth.
“Every state has some level of comparative advantage in one form of sports or the order and if every state will promise Nigerians that we will give you a medal in this area that means we are expecting 36 medals.
“(Governor Rotimi) Amaechi will tell us that Rivers State will give us a medal in this area, Liyel Imoke will tell us that Cross Rivers will give us a medal in this area and Kogi will also say the same and all the 36 governors.
“Out of these 36 medals, at least five will be gold. I also believe that the private sector will play a key role. We know that in some countries, the private sector plays some key roles in sporting activities and not just trading or manufacturing sporting wares.”
Jonathan said the vision is achievable with hard work, greater sense of purpose and dedication.
He said the purpose of the retreat was to chart a new course for sports in the country and reclaim the country’s past sporting glory as well as restore happiness and glory to the nation’s sporting events.