Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) President Habu Gumel has paid tribute to Alex Akinyele, the country's former Minister of Information who died last week.
Akinyele, an administrator and public relations specialist, passed away at the age of 81 after a reported brief illness.
He once served as the chairman of Nigeria's National Sports Commission and was also a former President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.
"Chief Alex Akinyele was a jovial and hard-working man who loved to work with athletes, technical team and administrators during his days as the chairman of National Sports Commission," Gumel was reported as saying by the New Telegraph.
"He was very articulate and result oriented in whichever assignment before him and the Commission."
The news of Akinyele’s death came during the visit of International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach to Nigeria.
"[He is] a great loss to our sporting fraternity and the Olympic family, not only in Nigeria but the world at large," Gumel added.
"On behalf of the Board of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, we send our sincere condolences and pray that we, the family, have the fortitude to bear this loss."
In 1995, Nigerian Army officer and dictator Sani Abacha appointed Akinyele as head of a National Reconciliation Committee.
This was with the aim of opening a dialogue with interest groups in Nigeria to support the democratic transition programme of the Government.