Super Eagles coaches who have gone eight months without salaries are going to be full of smiles next week when they are handed their backlog wages.
Top level government sources revealed that the coaches who are owed combined salary arrears of N78m are going to be paid early next week following the intervention of the Presidency on the matter.
Sources close to the National Sports Commission (NSC) in Abuja revealed that following the case made by Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi to the Presidency on behalf of cash-strapped Nigeria Football Federation, government has decided to pick the bills to save the NFF the embarrassment of being ridiculed in the media over the matter.
“Government has approved funds to offset the money owed Keshi and the other coaches. I am very sure they will get their entitlements early next week,” stressed the dependable source.
THISDAY reported yesterday that Keshi and his two assistants, Daniel Amokachi and Ike Shorunmu have not been paid their salaries since winning the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa since February.
It was also learnt that the coaches owed are mainly from the Super Eagles and Golden Eaglets ranks.
THISDAY scooped that N64.8 million out the total debt is owed Eagles’ Head Coach, Keshi, Amokachi and Shorunmu.
Manu Garba and the Golden Eaglets coaching crew are also owed for upward of nine months even though they successfully marshalled Nigeria to her record fourth victory at the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the United Arab Emirates last month.
Manu, Emmanuel Amuneke, Nduka Ugbade and goalkeeper coach, Emeka Amadi, are understood to be owed the combined sum of N12,555,000.
While Manu is on a monthly salary of N450,000 each of his assistants is placed on N315,000.
Manu is due the lump sum of N4,050,000, while Amuneke, Ugbade and Amadi are each entitled to N2,835,000.
Abdullahi’s query to NFF did little to solve the problem as chiefs at the Glass House could not raise the needed funds to solve the issue.
It was been speculated in football circles at the weekend that NFF is hamstrung by the failure of one of its sponsors in fulfilling its obligation to the Glass House. However, the sponsors (name withheld) has since dismissed NFF’s claim as rubbish talk.
“We are not owing NFF a dime for the outgoing year. They collected cheque for N350m from us and we are not due to pay them again until next year. How can they be saying we are owing them?” observed an official of the sponsoring firm in a reply to a THISDAY inquiry.
The embarrassment of the disclosure of NFF’s indebtedness to Keshi prompted the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala to recently inform reporters that Abdullahi would be asked to advice the council of state in writing on the next course of action.
Perhaps, it was this advice from the sports minister that may have led to the resolve by the presidency to pay the coaches ahead of preparations for next year’s World Cup.
News Credit: This Day.