The war of words going on between the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development over the ‘missing’ $130, 000 appears not to be over yet despite reports that the matter has been amicably resolved.
Following reports that the embattled AFN President, Ibrahim Gusau ‘mismanaged’ the sum of N39 million released by the ministry as part payment of the $130, 000, Mr. Gusau had come out to debunk the report claiming the money was judiciously utilised.
Speaking with journalists recently, Mr. Gusau said that the N39 million released by the ministry was used to purchase kits for 86 Nigeria athletes during the 2018 Warri Africa Senior Athletics Championship held in Delta State, adding that he got approval to use N30 million part of the money to buy the kits and then used the remaining balance to offset 50% of the athletes and officials’ allowances.
“The N39 million was never given to me. I can tell you the incident that happened in Asaba 2018. It pains me to tell you that Asaba 2018 was a loss for me because the AFN was not officially involved in the championship. The Delta state government took over the responsibility to host 54 African countries for the Senior All Africa Championship in the state. It was supposed to be Lagos State but it failed and Delta came in. There was an agreement between the Confederation of Africa Athletics and AFN; at that time the federation donated its powers to the LOC, which we were not on board then. Therefore, there were no duties for AFN.
“On the allowances for 86 athletes and officials, we had to plead again to avoid the embarrassment. Don’t forget we had embarrassing issues at the arrival of athletes in the airports and after averting that, we now have allowances issues in our hands.
“The N9 million balance of the N39 million was only able to pay 50% of the athletes’ allowances. And that 50% I have been writing and writing. Athletes have been asking me every now and then about the balance of their allowances.