Team Nigeria will not participate at the maiden edition of Para All Africa Games due to paucity of funds.
The Games will commence tomorrow, Sunday 3rd September in Ghana and will run till 13th September.
The Paralympic Committee Nigeria (PCN) has prepared its athletes to participate in wheelchair basketball (male and female), tennis, and amputee athletics.
Sources within the Federal Ministry of sports development disclosed lack of funds is responsible for the inability of the country to be at Games despite the readiness and preparation of the athletes and federations for the Games.
The para athletes had tabled their request to participate at the Games before the newly appointed minister during his inspection of facilities at the National Stadium, Surulere on Thursday, during which he assured them that he will look into the matter to assure that they will participate.
“But as it is now, with a day to the opening ceremony of the Games scheduled for tomorrow and nothing is on ground that indicates the country will participate. And the para athletes are still in the country while other African countries have started arriving in Ghana for the Games,” the source who pleaded anonymity said.
He added that “it was initially speculated that Nigeria will only participate in the tennis event made up of four players but now, the country will not even be in attendance.”
Some of the Para athletes who have trained and prepared for the Games have expressed sadness over this ugly development.
“We are not happy with this development having trained so hard to making the country proud at the Games, it is sad our effort will now be in vain. But if it’s the able bodied athletes, Federal Government will make money available. This is not fair at all,” said the athletes who pleaded not to be mentioned.