Dalung disclosed this to State House correspondents shortly after Buhari announced cash gifts of N1 million and N500,00 each for members and officials of the national female basketball team, D’Tigress, who won the 2017 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket tournament in Mali and qualified for the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Spain.
The minister noted that the team won the championship after 12 years.
He said when the ministry received the champions on Tuesday, he sought and got the President’s approval to receive them.
He explained that it was cost effective to quickly receive the team that consist of both local and foreign-based players now that they are still together.
He explained, “Although, we have athletes who had competed in other sports and had won laurels for the country, we felt it was economical to present the basketball team which was on ground in view of the fact that if you look at the components of players, they are mixed with national players and foreign based.
“So, we got the opportunity handy and had received them.
“For those we have not been able to receive, we will still do it at the appropriate time knowing full well that this government is always committed to receiving an honouring our athletes whenever they make the country proud.”