President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ambassador Chris Giwa has promised to harmonise the bonus and allowances of all the national teams.
He also disclosed the financial status of the federation, stating that Mr Amaju Pinnick had left behind a huge debt profile.
Giwa who made this known during an interview with journalists in Abuja promised to initiate a policy of bonus and allowance parity in the national teams in the bid to stimulate the same level of commitment, and dedication across board and end any piece of superficial welfare inconsistency on the basis of gender or classification.
Ambassador Giwa said that it was unfair to treat national team players welfare with disparity on the basis of gender. He said he had watched from outside this sad development and has an opportunity now as an insider to bring about change to this policy.
“Most importantly, we have restored payment of allowances and bonuses to all age group teams, like what obtained during the era of Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, Sani Lulu and Aminu Maigari, which also was a period of great achievements for the country in age-group competitions, which was surprisingly stopped in the last three years.
“We want to adopt a more holistic, sustainable and enduring policy on the issues of bonus, allowance, estacode and travelling logistics and arrive at bonus and allowance parity, where no team or group feels discriminated against, on the basis of gender or age.
The NFF President further argued: ‘This approach will make it easy for us to budget, manage our resources transparently and accountably, above all, empower the players to know their entitlements before any competition and also reduce all areas of frictions and complaints, especially, with the age-group teams, who have been at the receiving end of this inconsistent policy administered at the whims and caprice of the administrators.’
Giwa equally noted that, “when I arrived at the NFF secretariat, I met a workforce, suffering from very low morale bothering on total neglect, some of them complaining of having not travelled, even for any competition in the last four years. There is no way, we can continue along this path, considering the fact that the greatest asset of any organisation is its workforce. The kind of staff presently on ground cannot drive any enviable vision, except they are well motivated.’
“I can tell you authoritatively that staff are being owed between N800m to N900m in entitlements between 2015 and date. How can you expect these staff to function efficiently and effectively? This is in addition to over N150m owed travelling agents and over N200m debt to a hotelier in Abuja. These figures have been as depressing as they have raising questions as to the mega sponsorship deals we have read in the media and to what level of support does FIFA support our teams?” Giwa asked rhetorically.
“The last one month, as an insider, asking questions and reviewing the books, has been one of concern to the board as records have shown, unarguably, that government remains the biggest spender in the growth and development of sports, and football in particular in the country. The Federal Government spends as much as 90% to 95% of football funding in the country, with FIFA and CAF accounting for the balance. We will take responsibility for verifiable debts and find ways and means of paying them, after reconciling with the parties concerned, because we believe that government is a continuum,” the NFF President affirmed.
Giwa appealed to the players, coaches, staff and families concerned saying: “please, give us time to settle down, get over this unnecessary distractions, focus on how to reconcile the debts on grounds and offset them as soon as possible.”
“We want to focus on formulating policies that will fast-track football development in the country from the council levels to the state, without any friction with any of our affiliates.’
“We want the leagues to commence as soon as possible and our dream is to pursue a transparent league, where genuine champions will represent the country. We want the clubs to pay the players as at when due, even if some people intend to keep postponing the leagues reception. We must also place on record that government owns 95% or more of the clubs and those saddled with the responsibility of managing these clubs should show a sense of responsibility and pursue the objective of empowering the youth, who have chosen football as a career,’ the NFF President averred
“We must also put on record that the struggle that has brought us where we are today, is not about me or any individual, but one of liberating football from the strangle-hold of some individuals, who have held the beautiful game captive, excluding many and disenfranchising committed stakeholders over any trumped up charges at the detriment of our football development’
‘Our country thrives on the rule of law and Mr President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, is an advocate of the rule of law and believes in the independence of the judiciary. On our part, we will continue to respect the sanctity of the judiciary, unlike some individuals, who, despite Supreme Court ruling, affirming the judgment of the Federal High Court, Jos, still parade themselves as officials of the Nigeria Football Federation, which is an overt affront on the judiciary.”
The NFF President promised: “we will work harmoniously with the supervising Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, without being subservient, we will respect constituted authorities, because the Holy writ also enjoins us to respect our leaders, without being slavish, we will always consult with critical stakeholders, pursue an all inclusive football family and democratise the political space for all genuine football stakeholders to offer their services, if they so wish, as against the present attempts at running the game like a cult.”