*N280,675,150 to be returned to FIFA
*To still face EFCC or ICPC in new year
*It is in the Treasury Single Account
By Olajide Fashikun, Oluwole Francis
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is under immense pressure over how to account for the $1.1m development grant given to the soccer body by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) earlier in the year. FIFA sent the money to all its affiliate federations for development but the NFF failed woefully when the world football body demanded for a proper account of how the funds were spent.
It was learnt that FIFA frowned at the development and has subsequently decided to withhold all grants that should have been given to the federation.
After the opening speech of Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, at the AGA meeting of the federation in Lagos, where his exposure of the FIFA situation which had been kept secret, chieftains of the NFF had been having sleepless nights on how to get off the hook of FIFA and the ministry.
Rather than officially reply the minister in writing, the NFF took to assaulting him and on a second occasion, gave the account in the media and not to his office. Good enough, the Federal Government had noticed this act of insubordination and decided to cut the wing of the NFF down at all cost once and for all.
FIFA is asking for refund: While all these was going on, FIFA had demanded for the entire sum of $801,929 be refunded by the NFF to her coffers. Now, where will they get these volume of money? At Naira value using official exchange rate of N350 to the Dollar, that will translate to N280,675,150 only. To our FIFA source, “it was a sad situation. It was just that your officials did not keep documents to justify money spent. They were careless. They thought this was the era of Joseph Sepp Blatter. And we told them, things have changed but they wont’ listen. Sad for a nation like Nigeria. Now, FIFA has decided to make a good example of the Nigerian situation as a deterrence to other nations.”
Certainly, the next couple of days will be very tough for the body because this time, with the approval given to the Minister of Sports to engage the EFCC, or any other anti-corruption agency, the troubles on their hands have multiplied.
ICPC and EFCC investigations: Meanwhile, there have been issues under investigation bothering on financial impropriety before both the ICPC and EFCC. Nigerians will recall, the ICPC sometimes ago invaded the NFF and took away some related documents from the Account unit.
Pinnick said, “There have been various interpretations to a simple FIFA audit query, which is confidential and a matter between the FIFA – appointed auditor and NFF, but it has been blown beyond proportion and people are even saying NFF embezzled money.
It is ridiculous because all FIFA is asking for is clarification on why we have to lump their monies with other monies and the issue of receipting of cash transactions.”
Fifa money intact –Pinnick: Amaju Pinnick disclosed to the media that the NFF actually informed the Minister on request, about the audit matter, in the mode of always keeping him informed of all happenings in the NFF. “If the NFF had anything to hide with regards to the audit query, would the federation have informed the Minister about it?
The two issues FIFA raised were receipting of cash transactions and the matter of dedicated account, which we always had but which had to be merged with other accounts because of the TSA (Treasury Single Account) policy.
However, the CBN has now been able to open a domiciliary account for us within our single account and we have forwarded this to FIFA. No one should make mountain out of a mole hill.”
However, during an AIT television programme, Focus Nigeria, NFF’s factional President, Amaju Pinnick, said the FIFA money was still in the TSA. If this is true, he can get the money, refund to FIFA and start getting new set of monies. Simple.
Tomorrow: Don’t miss it. We have details of the NFF defence sent to FIFA. We also have the one million obvious lies FIFA detected in the NFF doctrine of foolery leading FIFA to ask for a refund. NFF would have employed Basketmouth to come do a better defence than she put it. It was dumb! Don’t miss the report! It is bumper!!