The Federal Government has made arrangements to recognize 60 Nigerian sports icons and personalities that have won laurels for the country and those that have made meaningful impact on sports development in the last 60 years.
The event is part of the activities orchestrated by the Federal Government to celebrate Nigeria’s Diamond jubilee.
Sunday Dare, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, while receiving the report of the Committee set up to accumulate the votes by Nigerians for the 60 awardees, revealed that the event was initiated to reward excellence and hard work.
He said, ‘We initiated this award because of the need to reward our heroes and heroines who have sweated to put the name of Nigeria on the world map. Unfortunately, most of these patriots have died, but we are also consoled that many of them are still alive.’
He added that, ‘One other import of the award is that it will encourage the younger athletes and indeed Nigerians in other fields to always give their best to the country, knowing that their efforts would be appreciated by the country.’
The Minister appealed to other laudable awardees who did not garner enough votes in the first edition to be patient. He assured them that they could also be rewarded in subsequent editions.
The Minister in his statement said, ‘I appreciate the effort of the collation committee at arriving at these 60 names because the truth is that there are so many more deserving Nigerians but for the fact that we wanted to restrict the number to 60 to commemorate the Diamond jubilee of our country.’
The event, which is to hold on Friday, October 16, 2020, at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja, is expected to be graced by President Muhammadu Buhari, members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as well some of the awardees and members of their families.
It was made known that, the committee would pick the final 60 sport icons from the pool of about 3,500 nominations of those who were voted for through various social media channels, television, radio and other platforms.
Arrangements are being put in place to have the programme broadcast live on television, radio and live-streamed on various social media platforms.