Former Nigeria Minister for youths and sports development, Barrister Solomon Dalung has opened up about the persistent lack of funds within the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Over time, the Nigerian football body has always complained about insufficient funding which most times has led to owing of national teams players and officials both at all levels.
Dalung who was Nigeria’s sports minister between November 2015 till May 2019 has refuted such claims coming from the NFF.
According to the Plateau born lawyer, NFF has no reason to cry out for lack of funds as they were well funded by three different sources.
“The paucity of funds can better be explained by the NFF because NFF has no good reason at all to suffer paucity of funds. Every football activity is funded by three sources, the federal government will fund it, if it’s an international competition, FIFA will fund it and state government and sponsor will fund it.
‘So one will always wonder there is this much ado about the paucity of funds in NFF throughout my tenure as a minister of youths and sports development, every single activity of the NFF, whether they are going for competition, whether any national team is going to participate in any competition, the Federal Government will fund everything completely. The NFF will present a budget.
The budget will include everything from the beginning to the end of the competition and these funds are always released. Sometimes it might be delayed but these funds are always released. Throughout my tenure, funds are always released.
“FIFA also funded all these competitions because this is one of the discoveries I made at the terminal days in office when I met with one of the officials of FIFA. In fact, one of the women football in FIFA who gave me a complete breakdown of the contribution of FIFA to any competition.
“Every competition of the national team is involved, FIFA will fund it so what we now have is the problem of double budgeting.
“The federal government is giving a budget it will fund, FIFA will send the same funding and then sponsors and state government will also fund it.
“I always wonder why NFF is in paucity of funds maybe they would in a better position to explain what they have been doing with their funds but they have no single or acceptable reasons why they would not be unable to discharge their obligations.
“These funds are provided by the federal government and the federal government has been diligently delivering on its responsibilities. FIFA has an international body has always been doing, our sponsors have also been very very prompt and supportive.
“I think NFF is in a better position to explain to us why they always have this paucity of funds. I think that explanation will help address these questions of paucity of funds that you are calling every time but for the three and half years that I was there, there is none emphatically, none of the competition we participated that the federal government did not release fund. There is none.
“If there is anybody that is being owed, NFF can explain better where the problem is coming from, he concluded.
Seems like there are begging questions to be answered by the Amaju Pinnick led board.