The Sports Ministry confirmed receiving the proposal.
The owners of the 20 clubs in the Nigerian Professional Football League said they are yet to be formally briefed on the proposed minimum wage of N150, 000 to players in the League.
The club owners stated this through their secretary, Alloy Chukwuemeka, in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Chukwuemeka said the Club Owners Association is not aware of such developments by the League Management Company.
“We have not been briefed. Subject to the discussions and further negotiations some players are earning N300, 000 and N400, 000 per month and also some earn N50, 000 and N80, 000 respectively from different clubs.
“We have to sit down and discuss about this, we have to look out for how to marry the two together: that’s the sign on fees and the salary of each player,” he said.
The League Management Company had earlier proposed to the National Sports Commission to order all the premier league clubs to pay all signed players in their club a minimum monthly salary of N150, 000.
The League Company recently received the first installment of N550 million of the N1.8 billion from Globacom for sponsorship of the league; and its Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar, told PREMIUM TIMES that part of the money will be shared amongst club owners.
The Sports Minister and Chairman of the Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi, confirmed receiving the proposal from the League Company. He, however, said the proposal was yet to be approved.
“I’m not sure the proposal has been approved yet, although there are reforms going on right now in the league,” Julius Ogunro, the minister’s media assistant said in a telephone interview.
He, however, said the minister had little role to play in such approvals saying “I don’t think it’s the duty of the minister to approve minimum wage for the league, those are privately run clubs in Nigeria.”
Mr. Ogunro said “the League Company is responsible for running the league, ours is to monitor.”
Players of the Nigerian League have regularly complained of delays or non-payment of their meager salaries and sign on fees. Many of them suffer in silence for fear of being victimized by the clubs.
“Our hostels are bad, we are bitten by mosquitoes every night inside the camp, it’s terrible, if the league management company can rescue us from this club officials we will be grateful,” a player with one of the Premier League Clubs in the South West said.
“Imagine for some time now we have not been paid salaries even sign on fees, we need good salary and adequate healthcare,” he added.
A meeting is expected to hold between the club owners and the League Management on the minimum wage.