The Ministry of Finance and the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are trading blames over financial request for the two Super Eagles crucial FIFA World Cup and Africa Nations Cup qualifier ties against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
While the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, claimed that the federal government is yet to receive any financial request from NFF, the Glass House argued that the request was submitted to the ministry over three months ago.
Chairman Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Obiina Ogba, who made the disclosure in a chat with journalists in Abuja, said that while the Finance Minister told him her office has not gotten any request when he confronted her recently, the NFF president, Amaju Pinnick had told Ogba that the federation made a request to that effect over three months ago.
Warning that Nigeria cannot afford to miss out at the next edition of the AFCON and World Cup for factors attributable to poor funding and preparation, Sen. Ogba said: “I confronted the Minister of Finance last week on the early release of funds for the Super Eagles qualifier matches against South Africa and Cameroon, but she confessed to me that she has not seen any request from the NFF.
“But, the federation’s president, Amaju Pinnick, told me that they have sent in the team’s financial details since the past three months. The Finance Minister is still insisting that she has not seen any document from the NFF.
“I am of the opinion that every money for the two matches must be released immediately to the federation for early preparation to begin. Not when it is too late. We don’t know who may be right or wrong, but our concern is that funds must be made available early enough to the NFF so that the team will get adequate preparation for the qualifiers.