Naira rain as Buhari honours Nigeria’s sports heroes •How much each awardee got

It was naira rain as President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday rewarded sportsmen and women and their officials who brought honour to the country in the last seven months, as well as the 1985 Class of U-16 boys who won the inaugural FIFA Cadet World Cup title while Buhari was military Head of State.

A brief but impressive ceremony at the Conference Hall of the Presidential Villa on Thursday morning was witnessed by top government functionaries, leading politicians, members of the National Assembly, members of the Diplomatic Corps and top sports administrators.

Rewarded were the aforementioned ’85 Class of U-16 players and their coaches; men and women basketballers; powerlifters; world scrabble champion Wellington Jighere and officials; boxer Olanrewaju Durodola; athletes and officials; the U-17 world champion footballers and; the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations winners.

Various monetary rewards, including N2 million for each of the 1985 FIFA U-16 World Cup winners, N1.2 million for the 2015 FIFA U-17 world champions and N500,000 for each of the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations winners, were doled out by President Buhari.

Buhari said the monetary rewards represented “a token of appreciation for your efforts and patriotism,” even as he hailed the “consistency, determination, will-power and penchant for success in recent times” of Nigerian sportsmen. “I urge the managers of this sector to keep up the momentum.”

The President, who directed a one-minute silence in honour of late Kingsley Aikhiobare (a member of the U-16 world champions of 1985 who died in London in 1996), said the reception and rewards were “in line with our belief that the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain.”

Buhari, “on behalf of the Government and sports-loving Nigerians,” announced the following “as token of our appreciation to our sports ambassadors”:

2015 World Wrestling Championship

Wrestler (Bronze medallist)

₦1,200,000.00

Coaches

N600,000.00

FIBA 2015 Male Afro-Basketball Champions, D’ Tigers

Players (Gold medallists)

₦600,000.00

Coaches

₦600,000.00

Team Officials

₦250,000.00

2015 FIBA Africa U-16 Female Championship

Players (Silver medallists)

₦400,000.00

Coaches

₦400,000.00

Team Officials

₦150,000.00

2015 IPC Asian Open International Powerlifting Championship

Gold Medallists

₦600,000.00

Silver Medallists

₦450,000.00

Coaches

₦450,000.00

Team Officials

₦250,000.00

World English Language Scrabble Champion

Player (Gold Medallist)

₦1,500,000.00

Coach

₦1,200,000.00

Team Secretary

₦450,000.00

WBC Silver Cruiser Weight Title

Winner (Title Holder)

₦1,500,000.00

2015 CAF U-23 Cup of Nations Champions

Players (Gold Medallists)

₦500,000.00

Head Coach

₦500,000.00

Assistant Coaches

₦300,000.00

Other Team Officials

₦300,000.00

2015 FIFA U-17 Male Football Champions

Players (Gold Medallists)

₦1,200,000.00

Head Coach

₦900,000.00

Assistant Coaches

₦600,000.00

Team Secretary

₦300,000.00

Medical Team

₦300,000.00

Other Officials

₦200,000.00

1985 FIFA U-17 Male Football Champions

Players (Gold Medallists)

₦2,000,000.00

Coaches

₦1,500,000.00

*Late Aikhionbare’s Next of Kin to collect his money on behalf of his family.

•Sourced from Daily Sports Nigeria (www.dailysportsng.com). State House Photo shows President Buhari and Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, in a group photo with 1985 FIFA U-16 Champions at Presidential Reception in Honour of Victorious Men and Women of Sports in Nigeria . . . yesterday at the Statehouse Banquet Hall, Abuja.