By David Gold

Loveline Obiji_19-09-12September 19 - Nigeria's gold medal winning Paralympians are being awarded N5 million (£20,000/$32,000/€24,000) by their Government as a reward for their success at London 2012.

Silver medallists were given N3 million (£12,000/$19,000/€15,000) and those winning bronze N2 million (£8,000/$13,000/€10,000) for their efforts.

Nigeria also honoured those Paralympians who failed to bring back any medals with N500,000 (£2,000/$3,200/€2,400) each and the country's coaches were also financially rewarded.

All of Nigeria's six Paralympic gold medals came in powerlifting – and five of those were won by women.

Yakubu Adesokan was the only male Nigerian gold medal winner in the -48kg event.

Loveline Obiji (pictured top) won gold in the women's -82.5kg, Ivory Nwokorie won the -44kg class, Esther Oyema the -48kg, Joy Onaolapo the -52kg and Grace Anozie the +82.5kg.

The six gold medal winners were also given the prestigious Member of the Order of the Niger honour during a ceremony and banquet in Abuja, attended by President Goodluck Jonathan.

"You represented our country to the best of your ability, we thank you," said Jonathan.

The country did not win a single Olympic medal this summer.

Yakubu Adesokan_19-09-12Yakubu Adesokan celebrates securing gold and setting a new world record during the London 2012 men's 48kg powerlifting competition

The Nigerian Paralympic Committee secretary-general Frank Thorpe told the Nigerian News Agency: "The President has shown that he is a man of the people, of the grassroots.

"It is good to have character.

"For a President to show compassion, it shows understanding and that gives us the strength to continue.

"I was very happy, all the athletes and officials were very elated.

"The monetary aspect was there but beyond that the recognition.

Nigiera Paralympic_athletes_wait_to_meet_President_Jonathan_September_2012Nigeria's successful Paralympians wait to meet President Goodluck Jonathan to receive their cheques

"I think we are charting a new path," Thorpe added, before adding a note of caution ahead of the next Paralympics.

"We have done well, but other countries are preparing seriously for Rio [2016] Games; so we shouldn't be left behind."

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