Nigeria minister orders probe of FA finances
Nigerian Sports Minister Solomon Dalung has ordered a probe into the finances of the country’s football federation after FIFA suspended further grants to the body. Dalung said at the weekend it was worrying that FIFA had halted development grants to Nigeria pending explanation on how a previous $1.1 million (1.05 million euros) was utilised.
“This is a very serious issue that must be given urgent attention to avoid another international embarrassment, more so that the present administration... has zero tolerance for any act of mis-appropriation, misapplication, embezzlement or fraud in any guise,” said the minister. “To this end, the NFF is directed to immediately provide my office with detailed information of receipt, disbursement and application of the FIFA development grant accordingly.”
He called on the NFF to appoint a reputable audit firm to look into its books. “The audit report must be made public so as to promote transparency, build credibility and enhance your market value,” the minister told the NFF. The NFF however insisted its accounts were in order. “The audited account of the Federation for the year, as audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, an internationally reputable audit firm, was presented and adopted at the General Assembly,” it said.
Dalung has always accused the NFF of poor planning ahead of major international events. He recalled how the government had to release 100 million naira ($317,000, 304,000 euros) at the last minute to ensure the Super Eagles honour a 2018 World Cup qualifier in Zambia. “We must improve on the way we do things. We cannot be writing emergency memos to the President. Personally, I’m not too comfortable (with that),” he said. The national women’s team, the Super Falcons, staged a two-week protest recently in Abuja before their bonuses for winning the women’s Africa Cup of Nations were paid. — AFP