*Early application for funds will determine approvals this year
Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, sees the audit report in which the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) was indicted by FIFA as a serious blight on the successes of Nigerian football in recent times.
“It is rather unfortunate that the audit report in which the NFF was indicted by FIFA is trying to dent the image of Nigeria and football in general,” Dalung said in a press release signed his Special Adviser on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze and made available to www.gongnews.net at the weekend.
World football ruling body FIFA recently raised queries on the management of the football development grant given to the NFF and a lack of proper documentation of $802,929 out of the total $1.1million released to the Nigerian football governing body.
As a result, FIFA has withheld all development funds to the country. Against this background, Dalung reiterates government’s determination to uphold accountability in all its activities.
And this, according to the minister, will subsist on the FIFA audit report “to unravel all issues surrounding the report and all other monies associated with such practices which could bring the image of the country and Nigeria’s sports to disrepute.”
Noting that some of the challenges that confronted Nigerian sports in 2016 touched on funding, sponsorship, transparency and accountability, Dalung said all the sports federations must submit their programmes for 2017 in the first week of the New Year for adequate planning.
“All federations, including the NFF should avail the Ministry of their programmes for the year to enable the government to plan and scrutinise for the financial intervention appropriately. Failing to do so on time will mean forfeiting contingent arrangements for those programmes and federations should not fall back to blackmail the government,” the release quoted Dalung as saying.