The acting president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Honourable Olamide George says the federation is determined to pay athletes and officials outstanding allowances owed by the leadership of the suspended AFN President, Ibrahim Gusau.
The athletes are owed despite the AFN receiving funds for the payments from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development. George, who is the acting president of the AFN following the suspension of Gusau on Tuesday at a board meeting in Abuja revealed that athletes and officials are owed allowances from the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, the World Relays in Yokohama, Japan and the African Youth and Junior Championships in Abidjan.
George said, “Approval and funds were given for these competitions and it beats majority of the board members why Gusau failed to either pay in some cases or pay in full.”
George cited largely the Doha and Abidjan outings where funds were released for the championships upon requests made without the approval of the board by Gusau.
“Gusau and not the board requested for N59m for Nigeria’s participation at the World Championships in Doha and approval was given for N35m which is about $92,000. He gave the Secretary General $38,000 to pay for the allowances of all 25 athletes and 14 officials that were in Doha. The athletes agreed to collect $100 a day for 13 days amounting to $1,300 each but were paid $1000 each and the officials also collected the same amount because the $38,000 was inadequate. The athletes and the officials are owed $300 each,” He added that the development will form part of the issues the investigative panel the federation will set up to probe Gusau. “We want him to explain to us what he used the balance of $54,000 for as World Athletics (IAAF) was responsible for the travel, accommodation and feeding of all 25 athletes in Doha. World Athletics also paid 55% of accommodation fees for officials meaning the AFN only had to take care of the flight tickets for the officials and 45% of their accommodation,” George explained.
He also revealed that the young athletes who travelled by road for three days in April to compete at the African youth and junior championships were yet to be paid.
“Former Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung told us in May that N13m was approved for the championships and the money came after the event. Till today, the atheletes have not been paid a dollar and the recalled athletes’ representative, Sunday Adeleye obviously failed to make a good fight for those he was elected to serve their interest on the board.”
George told reporters that Gusau said the money was used to prosecute the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan in May 2019. “The World Relays was partly funded by the IAAF who took care, full board two of each of the relay teams Nigeria presented in Yokohama. We are also asking why funds allocated for a particular event was used for another event. The acting athletes’ representative is insisting we find money to settle these athletes and that’s what we are determined to do.”
George has appealed to the sports ministry to come to their rescue.