Falcons’ Benefits: OAGF To The Rescue


This is certainly not the best of times for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with outpouring of condemnations over their poor treatment of Super Falcons after their historic 8th African Women Nations Cup title triumph over hosts, Cameroon on December 10, 2016 in Yaoundé. But courtesy of releases from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), all the heartaches seem bygones. COBHAM NSA reports the good news that not only the embattled Super Falcons but also the Super Eagles have cause smiling to the banks with their outstanding allowances and other entitlements.

It is one promise many prayed the Presidency should not only keep but fulfill promptly. Seeing the protesting Super Falcons with placards at the National Assembly gates on a day President Muhammadu Buhari was scheduled to present the 2017 Appropriation Bill to the Lawmakers was quite embarrassing. So, making good the assurances from Mr President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari that better days await them after the storm, it was an excited array of Super Falcons’ players and their Super Eagles counterparts that received the good news that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) has released the mandate to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the payment of all their outstanding allowances. A statement from the OAGF said the amount released to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is the Naira equivalent of One million, One Hundred and Seventy-Three Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty US dollars ($1,173,820.00) at N305 to a dollar. It further explained that the amount is to offset all outstanding winning bonuses for Super Eagles’ 2018 World Cup Qualifying matches and the Super Falcons’ participation in the 10th Women’s Africa nations Cup that just ended in Yaounde, Cameroon. Harbinger of the good tidings, Director of Information, OAGF, Kenechukwu N. Offie said in a statement in Abuja that the development was in ‘furtherance of the approval from the Minister of Finance for the said amount to be paid’. According to her, “The mandate, which is a sum of Three hundred and Fifty-Eight Million, fifteen thousand, One Hundred Naira only” was released by the CBN on December 15, 2016 as directed by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun. Offie said, “Similarly, another mandate for the sum of One hundred and Thirteen million, Eight Hundred and Twenty thousand, Six Hundred and Two Naira only has also been released by Office of Accountant General of the Federation for the payment of wining bonus for Super Eagles in the 2018 World Cup Qualifying matches; and for the Super Falcon’s participation in the 10th Women’s Africa Nation’s Cup.” The Information Director said the amount already paid to NFF is equally based on the Finance Minister’s approval. Hopefully, this fulfillment of a promise made should lay to rest all the embarrassment and controversies that have trailed Falcons’ record eighth title triumph for the Nigerian ladies. But as it has become customary, this development again brings to the fore the ugly face of Nigerian soccer where it has always been promises upon promises by the NFF to settle outstanding allowances and winning bonuses of all the national teams. Sadly, this remains a recurrent decimal in our football history where broken promises have become a lifestyle. Despite some voices to the fact that the girls should have shown restrained and decorum in prosecuting their demands, one cannot in the circumstances of their fate blame the players for ventilating their hurting feelings in the manner they deemed fit. In the face of what some within the football family described as recurring ‘laisser-faire attitude’, ‘official lies’ and ‘broken promises’ by the NFF, trying to convince the unhappy soccer fans that the Federation does not have any reason to ignore celebrating female football is an uphill task. Many soccer followers and even analysts are not happy the NFF is always guilty of owing players and coaches, but some readily argue that the present severe economic challenges demand that officials should continue to engage and seek the understanding of all the national teams’ players and stakeholders until the economic situation improves. No doubt, everyone, organisations, government or private, are feeling the pinch of current economic recession but appeals are certainly not be out of place in these times of financial challenges when money is not readily available. That means all stakeholders, officials, players and fans alike must return to the drawing board in an effort to work out solutions for the financial challenges that have continued to haunt our football over the years. With the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers still a long way to go and other sundry football matters on line to handle, the NFF must start now to plan and seek financial succor to execute its programmes next year because as the proverbial saying goes: ‘it is better to find the black goat when it is still daylight.’

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