NOC says it handles scholarship grants to athletes with transparency

NOC President, Habu Gumel
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By Olanrewaju Akojede

The National Olympic Committee (NOC), says it obtained scholarships from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through its affiliate bodies, Olympic Solidarity and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOCA).

The Public Relations Officer of NOC, Tony Nezianya, in a statement on Thursday in Lagos, disclosed that the scholarships were directly deposited into the athletes’ accounts.

He added that the selection process involved a complex but meticulous system that had evolved over the years by the Olympic Movement.

“The recommendations commence from the respective federations, continental and international federations.

“Athletes must meet specific criteria set out by awarding bodies to be considered eligible for the awards of scholarships.

“Once the awarding bodies process the funds, they, then, inform the National Olympic Committees about the athletes who will receive the scholarships.

“The NOCs, then, ensure that verified athletes’ accounts are provided for the funds to be dispatched,” he said.

Nezianya also said the athletes were expected to confirm receipt of their funds to both the NOCs and the awarding bodies.

“Deliberately spreading misinformation about such an important but complex matter without contacting the Custodians of the Olympic Movement in Nigeria shows a lack of knowledge and understanding of the movement.

“The NOC accredits all recommended athletes, who have met the minimum Olympic standards and qualifications to be in the Olympic Games and in this case, the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

“The Ministry of Sports Development pays the Athletes their dues and deserved allowances as and when due at Games times.

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“Till date, there is no Nigerian athlete now or in the past known to the NOC that has ever complained about not being paid their Olympic Grant,” he said.

Nezianya added: “This is exactly what transpired in Ghana at the 13th African Games and the previous Games.

“We in the NOC are satisfied that the current Sports Minister, Sen. John Enoh, followed a transparent process in granting athletes and officials their allowances and winning bonuses.

“It is, therefore, disheartening to see esteemed organisations, promoting fake news, describing the NOC officials and those of the sports ministry as ‘incompetent’.

“This is a strong language easily associated with the ‘street’ media.

“In this modern era of journalism, there is no place for practices that aim at undermining a credible non-governmental organisation like the NOC through deliberate misinformation of the general public,” he concluded. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Chioma Ugboma/Vincent Obi

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