President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has given the nod for the disbursement of N12 billion to settle longstanding financial obligations owed to Nigeria's national teams, notably the Super Eagles.
This substantial allocation aims to address various outstanding payments, encompassing salaries for senior national team coaches spanning up to 15 months, as well as owed allowances and commitments owed to the senior national teams, female teams, and the Under-20 national team.
The timing of this financial injection is crucial, coinciding with the Super Eagles' preparations for their upcoming participation in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) set to commence later this month.
Notably, the Super Eagles had previously voiced concerns about the delayed release of N1.5 billion earmarked for their participation in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
To navigate the financial crunch, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) redirected funds initially allocated for the Super Falcons and the Flying Eagles towards preparing the Eagles for the tournament.
The official statement
The statement reads, “President @officialABAT has approved the payment of N12billon outstanding backlog for Nigeria’s National teams of various sports, which includes super eagles and others.
“The payment entails the clearing of the senior national team coach salaries running up to 15 months, payments of allowances and promises due to the senior national teams, females, and Under-20 national team.
“This is coming at a time when the Super Eagles of Nigeria are preparing to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations, which is billed to start later this month.”
Strategic allocation: Redirecting funds to prioritize Super Eagles
Highlighting the persistent challenges, Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa underscored the owed bonuses for two games during a press conference in Abuja in January 2022.
Musa clarified that the outstanding bonuses pertain to specific matches, signaling a need for the government to fulfill its financial commitments to the national team.
In response to this issue, Musa indicated that the players were planning to engage in discussions with the coach and potentially NFF officials to chart the best course forward.
Tinubu's approval of the substantial N12 billion allocation not only addresses immediate financial concerns but also underscores a commitment to prioritizing the welfare and financial stability of Nigeria's national teams.
As the Super Eagles gear up for AFCON, this timely financial support is expected to boost morale and foster a conducive environment for the team's success on the continental stage.
This move by President Tinubu reflects a recognition of the crucial role played by the national teams in projecting Nigeria's sporting prowess globally.
The financial support is poised to not only alleviate immediate concerns but also contribute to the sustained growth and development of football in the country.
As Nigeria eagerly anticipates its national teams' performances in various competitions, the approval of this substantial fund by President Tinubu marks a positive step towards ensuring that the athletes can focus on their game without the burden of financial uncertainties.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago