There are strong indications that come 2017 there will be mass exodus of star coaches and athletes from Kogi state to other prospective states who are willing to present better welfare packages for them.
States like Gombe, Lagos, Kano, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Nasarawa, Edo, Ogun, Cross Rivers and Bauchi have sent delegations to the sports Council to make inquiries of the levels of the coaches as well as athletes in the state by taking advantage of the screening exercise embarked upon by the government.
It was gathered that 13 staff of the sports Council were earlier cleared and paid till August 2016 but their names omitted from September to December making them ghost workers as tagged by the state government.
An official of the ministry of Youth and Sports (names withheld) told www.gongnews.net that some of the coaches and Secretaries were paid from May to July leaving backlog of salaries from January to April 2016, making it 8 months of no salaries to cater for their athletes.
The official said with such treatment the state will lose the coaches and athletes to poaching states that are preparing for the National Sports Festival scheduled to take place in Abuja later in the year.
The official said “it is disheartening that coaches who are coming to work everyday, training athletes will be declared ghost workers. The screening committee should go to the files and check the number of medals that these individuals have won for the state. If after all these they still tag them ghost workers, then the state of sports will be worse off than ever because there are no replacements for those coaches”.
“Some of the coaches and Secretaries are having less than three years of service in the state. Instead of laying them off, the state government must as a matter of urgency employ more coaches to cushion the effect of these practitioners.”
“Let the governor know that sports is different from other ministries, Departments and agencies. Promotion is based on your performance and not educational qualification. It is not easy to be a national champion or even an Olympian”.
It is worth to note that some coaches who have made the state proud both at the National and international level are planning to throw the towel ahead of the National Sports Festival if nothing is done between January and February 2017.