Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung said the loss at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in the southern city of Uyo was painful and called for more support for the team also known as Super Eagles, reports Xinhua news agency.
"This is a temporary setback which is surmountable," Dalung said in a statement.
Ahead of the return leg against South Africa, Dalung told reporters that an emergency meeting of the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had been slated for Tuesday.
"We need to sit with the technical committee and the team's technical crew to find out the immediate and remote causes of this setback," he said.
The continental football competition will be held on Cameroonian soil in January 2019.
"The Super Eagles will definitely be in Cameroon because we can't afford to be absent at the AFCON for a third consecutive time.
"We will ensure that no stone is left unturned in our pursuit of a ticket to Cameroon," the official added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)