The Federal Government has reacted after MG Sportswear, a British sportswear manufacturer, disclosed that it was contacted by Nigeria at the last minute to produce kits for the country’s athletes at the ongoing Commonwealth Games.
According to BBC, Gino Ruffinato, manager of the company, revealed that he was contacted on Tuesday to produce sport wears to be worn by Nigerian athletes at the games.
He said the deadline was “Friday,” adding that his team has been working long hours to fulfil the order — which includes the production of 200 pieces of kits including running vests, shorts, and staff tracksuits.
“As it progressed I started getting emails with orders on, so at that point, I thought, hang on, I think this is serious,” he said.
“When they hit us with the deadline saying it needs to be there for Friday and today was Tuesday… there’s all the fabric, the print, the designs to get out in two days. It was a bit hair-raising.”
Reacting to the report in a statement on its website, the ministry of youth and sports development said about 300 Team Nigeria kits were delivered to the athletes over two weeks ago.
The ministry also said the kits provided to the athletes “include tracksuits, house wears, sneakers, face caps, backpacks, trolley bags, shorts, and ceremonial wears.”
The ministry, however, clarified that its provision is different from the competition kits which are produced by other federations.
“About 300 Team Nigeria kits were delivered over two weeks ago and have since been issued to almost all the athletes,” the statement reads.
“These kits which are the general kits procured by the ministry of youth and sports development, as is the practice, have since been issued to the athletes. These include tracksuits, house wear, sneakers, face caps, backpacks, trolley bags, shorts, and ceremonial wear.
“Team Nigeria athletes have since been donning them in Birmingham as was evident at Thursday night’s opening ceremony and other team functions.
“However, the competition kits for each federation differ. Each federation produces specific competition kits for its athletes.
“The Ministry is aware that federations have their own arrangements with different manufacturers with different delivery times and expectations which is being monitored very closely.
“We hope this clarification helps to put the matter in perspective so that all distractions to Team Nigeria athletes and officials are avoided.”
Team Nigeria was present at the opening ceremony of the games which was held on Thursday.
The Nigerian contingent wore uniformed caftans fashioned from the national colours.
Nigeria has 94 athletes to participate in nine events at the games which will hold until August 8.
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