Nigeria’s minister of sports development, Senator John Owan Enoh has declared that the country will immediately commence preparations for the next African Games.

Although the 14 edition of the continent’s multi-sports competition is still three years away, Senator Enoh declared emphatically that Team Nigeria has to hit the ground running now that their outing in Ghana is over.

Enoh declared as much in a press statement that he personally signed on Sunday to officially welcome the country’s contingent back home from Accra, where they placed second on the final medal table.

Although many critics undervalued Nigeria’s haul of 47 gold, 33 silver and 41 bronze as a far cry from Egyot’s top placed acquisitions, which were almost double those of the runner’s-up, Enoh described the performance as ‘outstanding.’

While expressing his accolades and gratitude on behalf of President Bola Tinubu, Enoh went on to acknowledge that the Nigerian contingent pulled off a remarkable feat in finishing second on the overall final medals table, ahead of South Africa, Algeria, Tunisia and Ghana, who also made the top six in that order.

However, the minister recounted that the only time Nigeria placed first on the log was when the Games was hosted in Abuja in 2003, hence his pledge that planning towards Egypt 2027 must start immediately and with concerted efforts from all Nigerian sports stakeholders.

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He added that a ‘comprehensive audit and thorough evaluation’ would be given Team Nigeria’s outing at Ghana 2024, with a view towards finding how to make success possible at the next edition in Egypt.

Enoh added in part: “I congratulate you for your outstanding performance in the just concluded 13th African Games that held in the Republic of Ghana.

 “From our world-class athletes, who burnt the tracks and triumphed, to our dazzling wrestlers, boxers, weightlifters, and indeed other deserving sportsmen and women, who were in imperial form.

 “The indomitable Nigerian spirit was on display, leaving behind whatever pre-Games inadequacies. The nation is thankful for the hard work and sacrifices of your individual and collective efforts.”

He added a hint about incentives to inspire Nigerian athletes to greater height, while also promising improved attention to the provision of facilities and maintenance of infrastructure in the country.