How NOC accesses, gives out scholarship grants to athletes – Official

The Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) has clarified that the process of obtaining scholarships and handing same to deserving athletes is transparent.

A press statement by the spokesman of NOC, Tony Nezianya, on Thursday said, “The National Olympic Committee (NOC) obtains scholarships from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through its affiliate bodies, namely Olympic Solidarity and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOCA).

“These scholarships are directly deposited into the athlete’s accounts.

“The selection process involves a complex but meticulous system 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.

“Athletes are expected to confirm the 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 this case the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

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

“Today 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.

“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, Senator John Enoh followed a transparent process in granting athletes and officials their allowances and winning bonuses.

“It is, therefore, disheartening to see esteemed organisations, like Channels TV, promoting fake news through their London-based sports Correspondent, Austin Okon Akpan, who described 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 by Channels TV that has deliberately misinformed the General public.”