By Salifu Usman, Abuja –
The Nigerian government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, says it has spent about three billion naira (N3 billion) on the Super Eagles’ qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The permanent secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Olusade Adesola made this known while speaking to newsmen during the Federation of Public Service Games (FEPSGA)’s monthly keep fit exercise held at the National Stadium, Abuja.
LEADERSHIP sports also gathered that the N3 billion spent by the federal government was not inclusive of the whopping billion of naira spent by the Akwa Ibom State government in hosted all Super Eagles’ home matches during the qualifiers, and FIFA’s grant for the world cup qualifiers to all participating teams.
Adesola, who was reacting to the controversial bill before the National Assembly seeking autonomy for the board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) by repeal the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) Act for the NFF Act, said the federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, spent the whopping N3 billion to ensured Nigeria’s qualification for the Russia 2018 World Cup.
He insisted that it is not logical for government to hands off on administration of football in the country and remains the financier of NFF’s activities and programmes.
“The position of government is very clear on the NFF bill before the National Assembly. When you are funding someone, the person can’t just say hands off me.
“For the qualification of Nigeria for the Russia 2018 World Cup, government committed about N3 billion to ensure our qualification. With that level of commitment and NFF been in the annual budget of the government for both their capital and overhead cost, it is therefore not logical to say government should have nothing to do with the federation. That doesn’t sound reasonable.”
Adesola stated further that, contrary to the excuses given by the NFF for demand for the new act, there is no need for such since the football body has all the free hands it wanted to run football in the country.
He said government has continued to deal with NFF and even fund it despite the fact that it has no legal backing yet.
“The way the NFF is constituted there is little or no input from the government despite the fact that they are being funded through the budget as a parastatal but they still ambush government by relying on some non-existent laws.
“FIFA does not fund the NFF completely yet they use it to harass government, this is robbing Peter to pay Paul. For instance the NFF has not shown capacity of prudent management over the years,” he added.