NFF corrupt, stinks, says Sports Minister, Dalung
Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung lambasted the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and its leadership on Sunday declaring that the football-ruling body stinks with corruption.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister made the remark at the 72nd General Assembly of the Nigeria Football Federation held in Lagos.In his opening remark, Barrister Dalung castigated the NFF for holding the AGA few days after Super Falcons saga that got President Muhammadu Buhari thoroughly embarrassed.
“Let me express my concern that could this General Assembly come at this period considering the recent unwholesome developments in our football life? How can Nigerians reconcile the claims by the NFF that it could not pay the Super Falcons for paucity of funds yet on another breath it is holding
an Annual General Meeting which the resources if deployed would have mitigated the situation of the players,” the angry minister said.
“I hope this meeting will address the immediate and remote causes of all the issues surrounding football in Nigeria which have generated negative publicity in recent time.”
Minister also said that his office has been inundated with reports suggesting that the board of the NFF is divided over the issue of Mr Pinnick Amaju contesting for a seat in the Confederation of African Football CAF.
“It is a policy of government to support and encourage Nigerians to vie and aspire for positions in international organizations,” he said.
“However, such persons must possess the requisite qualification and the wherewithal to succeed. “So it was heartwarming when I received a letter from the president of NFF Mr Amaju Pinnick declaring his interest to vie for a position in CAF. The NFF is hereby directed to avail the ministry with the minutes of the meeting where Mr Pinnick’s nomination for a CAF seat was discussed and approved so as to put the records straight. If our quest for a CAF seat is to materialize, then the NFF President will need the support of everybody.”
Barrister Dalung also spoke on a report he received from the NFF raising queries on FIFA’s audit report of $1.1m FIFA development grant to the NFF.
“According to the report, FIFA has withheld all development funds to Nigeria for lack of proper documentation of $802,000 out of the funds released to NFF.
“This is a very serious issue that must be given urgent attention to avoid another international embarrassment moreso that the present administration under the leadership of Mr President Muhammadu Buhari has zero tolerance for any act of misappropriation, misapplication, embezzlement or fraud in any guise.”
He directed the NFF to provide the Ministry of Youth and Sports with detailed information of receipt, disbursement and application of the FIFA development grant accordingly.
“In addition, a reputable audit firm should be appointed urgently to check the account books of the federation to ensure that funds are judiciously expended. The audit report must be made public to promote transparency, build credibility and enhance your market value,” Dalung said.
Dalung expressed shock over the deluge of insults from the NFF insisting that his ministry deserves some modicum of respect from the glass house.
He said: “May I express my gratitude to the Nigerian Football Federation for inviting me to its 2016 Annual General Assembly, even though I received the notice of invitation on Thursday December 15, 2016 vide a letter signed by the Secretary General, Dr. Sanusi Mohammed on the 14th of December 2016.
“That I am only given four days’ notice suggest to me that my invitation may be an afterthought because this is not an extra ordinary congress but Annual General Meeting. By convention, all the delegates to this meeting must have gotten their notices at least 21 days ago. Permit me to also observe that the office of the Honourable Minister of the Federal Republic deserves some respect.”