Minister of Youths and Sports Solomon Dalung has asked the executive board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to ensure immediate payment of all the national teams’ coaches under its employment before Christmas.
Dalung said this when declaring open the NFF’s Annual General Assembly, AGA in Abuja yesterday. He remarked that time has come for the country’s football body to stop depending on government’s grants and rise up to the responsibility of using previous and present performance of Nigeria’s teams to rally funds from corporate bodies.
The minister also pleaded with the leadership of the NFF to find all possible means in the spirit of Christmas to pay all the outstanding salaries, bonuses and allowances for the coaches to enjoy the Yuletide with their family.
The Minister, who quoted a part of the Bible to support his submissions, was equally emphatic that Nigerians are always expectant of nothing short of victory from all the national teams. He said: “I have received SOS from your coaches they have appealed to me as a father to appeal to the federation to please source for fund and pay their bonus, allowances and entitlement of our coaches and players before Christmas.
“Where there are challenges my attention should be drawn to it because we want to assure Nigeria that we will face any situation to give our best.
“You will agree with me that football is fundamental in developing the nation. Football is a major denominator in the foreign reserve of our country. Football is a tool in mobilising national unity. Football is an active ingredient in creating wealth and employment.
“When I was an active member of this family, football doesn’t have the status it has today. In our own days, our reward was to chew gum and glucose and of course we made our contribution and laid the foundation for Nigeria football today,” he said.