The lower house is planning to look into the financial dealings of the Glass House in the aftermath of the Super Eagles’ bonus row and the non-payment of salaries to coaches
The House of Representatives Committee on Sports will probe the Nigeria Football Federation over Globacom sponsorship package and other grants they received from world Fifa and Confederation of African Football (CAF) in all the competitions organised by these football bodies, Goal has been told.
Honourable Godfrey Gaiya, chairman of the House Committee on Sports, who expressed reservations over the slashing of the Super Eagles bonus from $10,000 to $5,000 as well as the unpaid five months salaries of coach Stephen Keshi as well as the Flying Eagles head coach, John Obuh told Goal that the House has concluded plans to summon the NFF to a detailed account of how those funds were spent.
The visibly disturbed legislator declared, "Let me tell you that the NFF budget in the last few years has been consistent and it has always been between 1.7 billion to 2 billion Naira from government. We are aware that aside the government, the NFF gets other sources of funding. They have a sponsor and every competition that the NFF participates in they are paid for participating whether it is a CAF organised or a FIFA organised competition. If you look at our constitution especially Section 80 it says whatever money that comes to any government agency must be declared to the National Assembly," Gaiya said.
"Now if the act appropriates two billion plus other sources of funding plus participation fees plus sponsorship deals, you know that what is available to the NFF is enough for them. And whatever money that comes to NFF outside government like I said should be declared and then retirement should be based on the totality of the amount that came to the NFF. But we have never been told and we will now be told how it has been used.
"We will be told why for over the years it has been the same marketing firm that is brokering deals between NFF and Glo. The NFF has a marketing department that they can deal directly with any sponsor without going through any agent. The agent collects 20 percent of whatever that comes into NFF. Up to 350million Naira was given this year and the agent took 70million Naira," he said.
Gaiya maintained that the Nigeria Football Federation was wrong in slashing the bonuses of the Super Eagles players.
"If the agent can take 70million Naira and then we have the players sweating daily to get us the glory. I disagree if you tell me that the best way to save cost is to slash the players’ allowance. The best thing would have been to slash the commission that the so called agent or marketer gets. We are going to view the marketing agreement between the NFF and whoever is in charge so that we know how we can protect the best interest of this country and of the players. “
Gaiya who was taken aback by the reaction from the Nigeria Football Federation over his comment on the Super Eagles bonus row said. "My job is to say it the way it is and I will never join anybody in unnecessary trading of words. What I said and I will still say it that the Nigeria Football Federation did not handle the matter of the Eagles bonus very well. If you have a son that you have been giving 10 Naira and all of a sudden you give him Five Naira, every responsible son has the right to ask what has happened to the 10 Naira you used to give him and it is the duty of the daddy to tell him why it is no longer 10 but five.
"What I said is that they did not handle the matter properly and I will say so anywhere. There is what is called collective bargaining. If it is because of the players they have the football federation it means the players are the primary product of the federation and therefore they must be able at all times to look at the players, adjust anything they can and treat them as partners in progress.
"The truth is that this country is not so poor that we cannot do what is right. If Nigeria was willing to pay $10,000 those days, what has happened to us that we can no longer pay? We are the ones that appropriate those funds. Were we told that they have problems that they can no longer pay? Were we told that they have resolved with the players and that they have agreed to collect the $5000? Were we told that if we budget for $10,000 for a win and the day we don't get the win what happens to the balance,” Gaiya asked.