Oyo State representatives at the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival held in Benin, where the state finished sixth with 103 medals, are pleading with the state government to redeem the cash promises made by Governor Seyi Makinde during a reception held for the medalists at Government House, Ibadan.
They said the governor promised to reward each gold medalist with N500,000, give N350,000 to silver medalists, and N250,000 to each bronze medalist.
They added that the coaches were promised N500,000 each at the reception held on April 21, 2021
They also reminded Governor Makinde of his pledge to facilitate the payment of the monies within two weeks of the pronouncement.
According to the athletes, the delay has dampened their morale with a great negative impact on the psyche.
Quoting the governor, the athletes said Makinde had promised, “whatever pronouncement I will make now will be fulfilled within two weeks as we are not going to promise you what we cannot do.
“When we came in as an administration, we saw a file of 2018 festival and discovered several promises made to you by the past administration, and we investigated why those promises were never fulfilled and we found out that there was no intention from day one to fulfill those promises because there is a process that should be taken to fulfill those promises.
“For instance, if I promised you, the process is to start with the first approval, second approval, and the third one while the money will be paid, but there was no step taken. But we picked it up and within the limited resources available to us; we fulfilled some certain percentage we could.”
The athletes acknowledged the governor’s efforts at providing sports facilities across the state, saying that fulfilling the promises would help Oyo State achieve the 100 gold medals target set by the governor for the state’s team at the next National Sports Festival.
Two days ago, the government had said they will soon receive their cash rewards, as the Ministry of Youth and Sports has already received the Governor’s approval for the rewards meant for the medalists.