Sports minister says delay in payment of Falcons unfortunate

By Femi Adefioye, Lagos
Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung has stated that the delay in the payment of allowances of the victorious Super Falcons “was unfortunate’’.
Dalung said this at a Special Town Hall Meeting for the Youths organised by the Federal Ministry of information and Culture.
“It is unfortunate that we have to go through that situation. We learn from our mistakes and we will ensure issues that will subject our national image to ridicule will be avoided.
“We will take careful look at such issues when planning in the future,’’ Dalung said while responding to questions from the youths.
It will be recalled that the Super Falcons’ bonuses and allowances after their AWCON 2016 victory were delayed until they protested and the Presidency ordered immediate release of their money.
Dalung assured the gathering that the National Youth Parliament would be reformed and democratised to ensure that its representatives have mandate of members.
“We inherited this very important body for youth representation and we are going to embark on reforms. The next parliament would be democratically elected. Therefore, those interested should be informed and be getting ready,’’ he said.
Dalung blamed the crises in the Council on interference by politicians and others not in age bracket of youths but using the group for their selfish motives.
He said the ministry is planning to hold youth stakeholders meeting next year to discuss on best ways to address the challenges facing youths.
Dalung urged the youths to change their mind set and disengaged from indiscipline and negative values..
The Minister of State for National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed said the 2017 budget was designed to expand partnership between the public and private sector.
She said in the design, the government funds would be used to act as catalyst to attract the private sector resources.
Ahmed said the government is determined to take the country out of recession by using the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which will be concluded in January 2017.
She said other critical component of the 2017 Budget is its focus on infrastructural projects such as road, rail, power and ICT to have positive effect on the economy.
The minister said there are provisions in the budget for the creation of special economic zones and industrials parks which will act as vehicles to accelerate domestic activities for innovation, wealth creation and job creation for youths.
She said that the economy has made significant increase in the development of agricultural and mining sectors.

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