Former Nigerian sprinter and 1990 World Junior bronze medalist, Nnamdi Anusim has cited official ineptitude of the Athletics Federation (AFN) and the National Sports Commission (NSC) as the bane of sports development in Nigeria.
Anusim, a member of the 4x100m relay team to the Sydney 2000 Olympics and a sprint relay gold medalist at the 1999 All Africa Games in Johannesburg, now based in Finland, cited the AFN's inability to organise frequent athletics meetings for athletes at home as the major reason for Nigeria’s poor performances in major championships in recent years.
The 32-year-old told a local radio station, Brila FM 88.9, that the administrators are not doing anything to help secure sponsors to support the athletes and develop the sport in the country, but are wasting their time waiting on the federal government to continue to fund athletics.
He said: " They are not looking forward to sponsors, but they should normally have about four, five competitions before the Olympics and think about doing well.
"Our athletes just have to start something right now, but they also need money and support to move ahead.
"It’s not easy, because the sponsors are not just there but, if they are waiting for government, I am sorry, it would just be a waste of time.
"I really don’t subscribe to the idea of camping our athletes for a long spell of time. It really would be better to distribute training grants to those in line for major international competitions.
"I would love to see the government and federation coming out to support individual programmes of a number of top athletes, for the common good of the nation," he added.