Nigeria sports team complained of unpaid allowance
Athletes representing Nigeria at the ongoing 12th African Games in Rabat have debunked claims by the Ministry of Sports that their allowances for the Games have been paid.
They said this after the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Olusade Adesola, claimed that the Federal Government had paid the allowances of all Nigerian athletes in Rabat.
Adesola made the claim in an interview with NAN on Tuesday, shortly after arriving Rabat to support and cheer Team Nigeria to victory at the Games.
Adesola was quoted as saying, “The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports does not owe athletes of Team Nigeria at the on-going African Games in Rabat, Morocco any outstanding allowance.”
But the athletes said that some of them have not been paid.
While those that participated in football confirmed their payment, some athletes that represented Nigeria in athletics and other sports said they haven’t been paid.
According to them, the news of their payment came as a surprise.
They also urged the permanent secretary to provide evidence that they have been paid, noting they have only been assured that they will be paid.
“Majority of us are here because of the pride in representing Nigeria. We are still owed for this Games. You can confirm from the athletics federation,” one of the male athletes said.
“Why will he (Adesola) make such claim? Mr (Sunday) Adeleye (Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria) was still encouraging us that we should put in our best regardless of the challenges. All I can say is to plead with the government to pay us,” another female athlete added.
On his part, President, Track and Field Coaches Association of Nigeria, Godwin Ogogo, complained that the athletes were not well catered for.
He faulted the sports ministry for not paying the athletes allowances before going for the competition.
He said, “Athletes are in the camp now and the ministry is asking to pay some of them $100. They said the athletes will be paid their allowances when they get to the African Games, but they are supposed to have been paid some money from here (Nigeria). What kind of food are they giving them? Our athletes need to be protected. Majority of them are from poor homes.”