The Federal Government has concluded plans for Team Nigeria, comprising 462 athletes and officials, to leave for the African Games in Morocco on August 15.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Olusade Adesola, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja at a media briefing.
The contingent will be transported to the Games through a chartered flight, Air Peace in line with international best practice.
Adesola said that the athletes who had been in closed camping in six states since July 5, would be participating in 22 events at the Games.
Said Adesola: “The Federations have conducted series of close and open trials to assess the athletes’ level of preparation and select possible podium athletes to represent the nation at the Games.
“Nigeria will present a contingent size of 462 athletes, coaches, medical and administrative support staff to the Games”.
The sports with the highest contingents include: Athletics- 51 athletes/6 coaches, football- 36 players/10 coaches, Handball-28 players/4 coaches, Volleyball (indoor) -24 athletes/4 coaches.
Others are Weightlifting-20 athletes/2 coaches, Taekwondo and Wrestling-16 athletes/2 coaches each and Cycling-14 athletes/3 coaches among the 22 individual and team sports Nigeria will be participating in.
A further breakdown shows:153 male athletes, 155 female athletes, 58 coaches, 58 team officials and 38 other officials and dignitaries to make up the 462 contingent.
The Permanent Secretary however, emphasised the need for the athletes to compete clean without any form of doping while striving to top the medals table.
He reiterated government’s commitment to their welfare and assured that all issues of bonuses, training grants and return ticket for foreign athletes had been sorted out.
Said he: “I want to re-assure that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved funds to pay allowances of athletes and officials while at the Games village and off-shore training grants to desirable athletes.
“Return tickets for foreign athletes and wining bonuses have also been provided”.
The 12th African Games is to hold in Rabat, Morocco, between August 19 and 31, 2019.
Team Nigeria finished second in the last edition of the Games in Congo Brazzaville in 2015.