Aquatics Federation chief laments lack of financial support from Sports Ministry

By Augustine Kalu on October 20, 2016

Views: 2,171

Chairman of Open Water and the Vice Chairman of the Technical Committee of Nigeria Aquatics Federation (NAF), Reverend Samuel Jesimiel, is not a happy man at the moment reason being the lack of financial support from the Sports Ministry for the activities of the Federation.

Rev. Jesimiel, the chairman of the Lagos State Swimming Association in a telephone interview with Daily Sports stated that over time, the ministry has continued to deny the federation funds to carry out its activities but at the same time turn around to castigation it for the country’s lack of progress in aquatics sports.

He reasoned that if anybody should complain of lack of progress by the federation, it should not be the Sports Ministry because they are part of the problem for not providing the Federation with financial support to be able to carry out their programmes and activities. He said that the much they have been able to achieve for the country came out of the commitment and sacrifice of members of the board of the federation.

Jesimiel who also doubles as the chairman of the Open Water and Facilities Committee of the Aquatics Federation said despite this anomaly, they would continue to do their best for the sports they are so passionate about not minding the short end of the stick that the ministry has continued to hand over to the federation.

According to him, “We are preparing to jet out of the country to South Africa for this year’s Africa Swimming Championship, already the President of the Federation, Mr. Babatunde Fatayi Williams and one of our swimmers, Yellow Yeiyah are Africa for the championship,” Rev. Jesimiel disclosed.

“Samson Okpuakpo and I hope to storm South Africa on Wednesday for the championship. We are still running around for money and if we succeed we will proceed to South Africa for the championship. We ought to have been there before now. As we speak, Yellow Yeiyah has qualified for the final of his event and Samson’s event will start on Thursday.

“You see the problem has always been lack of funds. Because of lack of funds, the Chairman of the technical committee of the Federation, Mr. Steve Onyeacholam, had to withdraw from this trip that is the type of sacrifice that we see every time. He had to sacrifice his own trip to ensure that Yellow Yeiyah is in South Africa for the championship. He had to hand over his money to Yellow to  complement the money at his disposal to enable him make the trip to South Africa to represent the country and look at us here, still running around for money.

“Of course, if at the end of today, Tuesday we are unable to raise the funds, we will not be able to make the trip and somebody somewhere will be accusing the Federation of not doing enough to develop swimming in the country. Ordinarily are we supposed to still be in the country when Okpuakpo’s event will be starting by Thursday? Yellow arrived in South Africa and went straight to compete in the heats and luckily he qualified for the final. Assuming he did not qualify, people will say that he didn’t do well when every odd was against him but he went ahead to qualify for the final.

“We have not been receiving any financial assistance from the Sports Ministry to carry out our activities and programmes. The annoying aspect of this lack of financial support to the Federation is that the ministry will be the first to complain that the Federation is not doing enough to development the aquatics sports in the country yet, they are not assisting us in any way. Any time that we run to them for financial support; they always tell us that there is no money. I wonder how they want us to carry out our programmes and events.

“The ministry does not have regard for aquatics sports if not, they wouldn’t have removed swimming in the Youth Games that recently held in Ilorin with the flimsy excuse that Ilorin does not have facilities. It is a blatant lie because Ilorin is the only state in this country that has three swimming pools that were built in accordance with FINA specifications.

“There is no other state that has three swimming pools located in one place and in accordance with FINA specification in this country like we have it in Ilorin. But we must continue to do our best for the aquatics sports in the country despite the challenges that we face daily,” Jesimiel assured.

•Photo shows Nigerian swimmers in action.

Source Daily Sports

Posted October 20, 2016


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