AFN hails minister over move to pay athletes’ outstanding allowances

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The Athletics Federation of Nigeria has hailed Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare’s intervention regarding payments of allowances to athletes that represented Nigeria in international and continental competitions in the last three years.

Athletes and officials have either been short paid,underpaid or not paid at all by the suspended president of the AFN, and Sports Minister Dare tweeted on Friday that he is going to effect these payments once they are verified. Acting president of the AFN,Honourable Olamide George, says the federation is grateful to the Sports Minister for trying to wipe the tears of our athletes,especially the young ones who travelled by road to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire for the CAA U-18 and U-20 championships last April. ‘

We are indeed blessed to have Mr Dare as Sports Minister who understands that welfare of athletes remains a key factor in their development,’said George in a press statement. ‘

The Minister only recently in his new year message harped on welfare of athletes as one of his priority areas in his short term sports development plan and he is already matching his words with action.Like they say in local parlance,he is proving to be a talk and do Minister,’George added and stated that athletes and officials had been at the receiving end of the maladministration that highlighted the tenure of the suspended president of the AFN,Shehu Ibrahim Gusau.

‘Since the board was inaugurated in 2017,the administration of Gusua has been owing athletes and officials allowances. Coaches who accompanied the team to the World Championships in London in 2017 are still owed part of their allowances.

Athletes and coaches that participated in the African Championships in Asaba in 2018 were underpaid despite the approval of N39m by the Ministry ,’revealed George. ‘In 2019,athletes and officials were owed allowances for the CAA U-18 and U-20 championships despite an approval and release of N13m by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

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