Sports minister orders refund of IAAF over payment money

Pius Ayinor

Nigeria’s sports minister Sunday Dare on Wednesday approved the refund of the cash wrongfully paid into the account of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The Minister posted via his verified Twitter handle, “I have approved the release of funds to refund the IAAF overpayment wrongly credited to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.

“In a few days from now the funds should hit the account of the IAAF baring any interbank delays. With this Nigeria’s reputation is regained.”

The erroneous payment of $135,000 accidentally sent to the AFN by the IAAF, sparked a crisis at the AFN and indeed Nigerian sports.

The IAAF mistakenly paid the sum into the AFN account in 2017 – the amount due should have been an annual grant to member federations of $15,000.

In a letter sent to the AFN in May, the IAAF warned Nigeria would incur sanctions if the overpayment was not refunded.

In August 2018, Dare predecessor, Solomon Dalung pledged to supervise the repayment of half the missing money, although the IAAF neither confirmed nor denied if this was ever paid, Dare in another tweet later on Wednesday confirmed that his office was only refunding the balance of $65,000.