With the on-going drama of the Nigerian Olympic Football team threatening to boycott the quarterfinal match with Denmark over unpaid allowances, both the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Ministry of Youth and Sport have responded to the matter.
The Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy has been blamed for the delay in the payment of allowances and bonuses of players and coaching crew of the Dream Team VI in Rio.
A statement issued by Ademola Olajire, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Assistant Director of Communications quoted the federation’s President Amaju Pinnick as saying so when he communicated with the team’s handler Samson Siasia, on the telephone.
“I just finished a long telephone discussion with Siasia and I explained to him the situation the NFF is in and why he has not received his salary.
“As I explained last week, we received some money from CAF and I directed that the money be used to offset the salaries of the U-23 team coaches and also for the Super Falcons’ coaches.
“The money has come into the NFF account but it has to first go into our Treasury Single Account (TSA) before we can access it and then use it.
“The vouchers for the payment have already been done,’’ the statement quoted Pinnick as saying.
It further quoted Pinnick as saying that the NFF General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi and the Minister of Sports Solomon Dalung had also intervened at different points to explain the football house predicament to Siasia.
“Siasia confirmed that before I spoke to him, the NFF General Secretary had also called him to explain the situation to him.
“We are not unmindful of what our coaches are going through in this challenging period and we praise them for their patriotism and hard work despite all these.
“I want to specially appreciate the Honourable Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, who had already dispatched accountants to the U-23 team hotel to pay the allowances of players and officials before I called the team.
“The Honourable Minister instructed the accountants to also pay the four alternate players, who are not accredited for the Games; we commend him for his efforts,” the statement also quoted Pinnick as saying.
The Dream Team are scheduled to encounter Denmark on Saturday evening in the Quarterfinal.