House committee stops NFF from returning money borrowed from govt

Amaju Pinnick , NFF chairman

The House Committee on Sports led by Godfrey Gaiya ruled on Tuesday that the Nigeria Football Federation should not return the $3.6million “borrowed” from the federal government during the last FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The Federation had deducted the money from the $8.5million paid to it by FIFA as part of its World Cup appearance fee.

Mr. Gaiya, during the budget hearing, said it was “alien” to return the $3.6million to the government.
“Money for intervention for sports under the Presidency is N5 billion and the money was taken out of it so no need to return it,” he said.

The committee advised the NFF, instead, to use the money accrued from FIFA to cater for the federation’s programs in 2015. It added that based on this, it would cut fresh monies to NFF in its 2015 budget.
“The ruling of the house of representative was that the money kept by the NFF should be used for the 2015 affairs,” Mr. Gaiya said.

“Work with the $8.5million and break it down and let’s look at it and pass it so it can be captured in the 2015 budget appropriation. Write the parliament, copy the senate committee chairman that the ruling was that the money shouldn’t be seen as a loan, nobody should pay back because it has been expended.”

Contrary to what the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, told PREMIUM TIMES in an earlier interview that about $3million of the FIFA money had gone to the government, he told the house committee that the money was being kept somewhere safe, waiting for directives from President Goodluck Jonathan.

“The NFF got $1.5m for qualifiers and pre-World Cup preparations,” Mr. Pinnick explained. “FIFA gave Nigeria more money for making it to the group stage. After, the NFF got $8.5 million. The finance committee sat to look into the debt of the Federation; quality preps means hotel, a bill of over N300million. $3.6 million was given by the government to the federation because there were issues concerning the players. The first thing I did was to appeal to the (executives) to return the money. The money is still intact but it would have gone straight but we want to do it through due process.”


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  • ojays

    Thank you for your opinion, I will rather suggest that Nigeria revert to the 4or 6 region format and let each region develop at its own rate. Each region will be mandated to contribute equal amount to Abuja for sustenance of central govt, foreign policy, currency management and armed forces including federal police and intelligence.
    All other areas of life should reside with the regional governments – education, health, road, rail, justice, environmental management, agriculture, custom and exercise, minerals and scientific research and development including VAT. Salaries and wages according to ability to pay by the regions.
    Furthermore there should be a clause that any 1 or 2 region can opt out of the country just as was the case with former Soviet Union.
    Each region should operate whatever system of government be it presidential, parliamentary, constitutional monarchy, French type presidential or Germany type etc.

  • igboham

    I have no use for any individual or group that believes that unity can be gotten by force, imprisonment or intimidation. Somehow you did not even recommend dialogue here. Perhaps you can kill all of us for demanding freedom from Nigeria.

  • PolyGon2013

    Nonsense. On Biafra we stand. Biafra should exit from Nigeria. The marriage is over.

    • Dawood

      Hey, Libya is available. Go there. Agitation are by pot-belied looters holed up in posh American and European hotels, who wrecklessly send young, frustrated Nigerians to do their dirty deeds. Their goals are the oil wells of Aqua Ibom and Rivers. CORRUPTION is our problem. The government should address the concerns of the ordinary Nigerians everywhere, so these fraudsters don’t take advantage of their plights. The government should give the finger to the Biafraudsters and all other phony agitators, and bring the hammer down on loose lips, the fools telling other Nigerians to vacate any space in Nigeria. Those calling for restructuring are only interested in restructuring their Swiss accounts. Did I say that corruption is the problem, not restructuring? Just wanted to repeat that.

      • PolyGon2013

        Hey, I am not going anywhere. I love Nigeria. I am asking the Ibo to go with their Biafra. I support them totally.

  • abodes_124

    If there is a referendum without rancour there may perhaps be a majority for the creation of Biafra mainly because of a combination of the way Buhari’s government has treated the South East like crap and from a romantic rose tinted notion of what such a nation will be. If there is change to a leadership exhibiting the kind of emollience, reason and fair mindedness from our Acting President, most of the wind will be taken out of the Biafran ‘agitation’ sail.

    • Dr Norm

      This is neither merely a political or structural problem. The storm has been gathering since 1945 when hundreds of Igbo were slaughtered by the Muslims for supporting Nigeria’s independence, which the Islamic North opposed. The British, who most likely incited the massacres (as they also did in 1966), did not even arrest anyone; this was the beginning of violent Islamic impunity in Nigeria. Moreover, the Muslims spare foreigners-whites, Saudis, Pakistanis, Lebanese etc. but murder their “fellow” citizens; they also prefer to give permanent jobs to foreigners but only hire those from the South on contract. And you want to prevent the Igbo and Biafrans from Restoring the Biafra Nation where they will be safe and secure and be treated like human beings. A country that targets a group of its “citizens” and refuses to protect their lives and property does not deserve their allegiance. Bye Nigeria!

    • taiwo

      You have spoken well. This is exactly what I told a couple of friends last night. Truth be told, PMB accentuated the strident call for Biafra with his 97/5% utterance and some of his actions, especially appointments. He even outdid GEJ in his appointment charade.

      Inasmuch I have a sneaky feeling that a referendum will be in favour of Biafra, I still feel we will do better as Nigeria if we have a fair-minded leader with a grand and infectious vision for Nigeria. OBJ is the only leader who has come close to it.

      Thank you.

  • Karl Imom

    This editorial is totally nonsensical. and uncalled for. The end of the civil war marked the end of Biafran quest. There is nothing to address here about Biafra. IN ending the war, Biafrans accepted Federal Government conditions and terms which did NOT include negotiations after the fact. If they want another war, they are free to declare it. The idiotic drivel of seeking special conditions for Biafra race in Nigeria is totally nonsensical and will not happen.

  • Mamman Bako

    Premium Times there is nothing to address. You’ve misread the situation and misprojected the scenarios. Nothing is going to happen, not Biafra either.
    Firstly no one in the north is interested in any civil war, should there be one, it will be amongst those who believe in IPOB/Nnamdi Kanu and within the South East States.
    Secondly IPOB/Nnamdi Kanu no longer Nigeria’s problem, the movement and its wahala squarely rest on South East States’ leaders.
    Thirdly IPOB/Nnamdi Kanu narrative has gradually turned the Igbos into a political minority, after all politics and democracy is a game of number. Numerically it’s always been and will always be an uphill task for someone of South East State to be president, unless through rotation, consensus and trust. These items seem not exist in the South East anymore.
    Finally the IPOB/Nnamdi Kanu risk making people of the South East a social minority.
    IPOB/Kanu Nnamdi should champion the fight against the common enemy: nepotism, corruption, poor leadership, and so on. We are all afflicted north, south, east, west. No one is spared.
    Enough of this senseless and not well thought out agitation.

    • abodes_124

      But Nnamdi Kanu is not Biafra and Biafra is not Nnamdi Kanu. In 100 years time , you I and Nnamdi Kanu will be long gone but the Biafran idea, ideal and maybe even the nation will be alive.

  • Ibraheem Aruna

    As a responsible and focused paper which I know you are, there were certain things missing here, you have only presented an abstract. To whom is this editorial directed. In a constitutional democracy such as ours, you are well aware that change will only come through the national assembly. Can any changes come without them? Would the Nigeria national assembly be courageous enough to take political decisions that will be inimical to their personal interest or existence on a platter of national interest? Can those Constitutional reviews be implemented in the presence of a standing National Assembly? Suggestions from your readers make a lot sense but how would they be implemented? Here lies the dilemma.

    • abodes_124

      a very practical and worthwhile contribution. If only other ccommentators could focus on and tease out such details instead of cursing and swearing

  • Karl Imom

    The issue of Biafra was addressed between 1967 and 1970… You cannot go to war and then turn around aftera spectacular loss to start claiming your negotiation rights. There is nothing like that. When you lose a war, you have lost everything including your rights to negotiate. There is NO back door to an issue that has been addressed through the war. . .

    • Yoruba Coward

      May thunder destroy your entire family

      • Karl Imom

        God will burn your asshole.

    • abodes_124

      Indeed Pharoh had the same view after he had conquered enslaved the Israelites. The rest as they say is history.

  • Izedomi Ohirein

    Igbo are the only people desturbing Nigeria with their selfish agitation to recreate old Eastern Nigeria and other southern minorities for them to dominate as the largest tribe.
    They are not serious.
    There is not to revisit. They should be worned to behave.

    • Richard Wilson

      we in delta went to join them.

      • Izedomi Ohirein

        Which Delta,
        Urhobo, Isoko and Itsekiri, majority in Delta State with Edo on the issue of, to recreate the Midwest /Bendel.
        We have Bendel Federation in the UK and I have represented Bendel Federation on BENtv in London on a debate on restructuring Nigeria.

    • Georgina Wellman

      We want to recreate a part of history that we think is great, we do not beckon you to come with us, please stay in your equally great Nigeria.

      • Izedomi Ohirein

        I have no problem with people having a dream. We want to recreate the Midwest/Bendel within Nigeria.

        We don’t go about insulting people and destabilizing Nigeria.

        Scottish independent movement is lead by SNP in parliament, not by miscreants. There are no Scottish SNP ministers in British Conservative government.
        Igbos who voted 95% for PDP have no rights to demand seats in an APC government.

        What did we get from the last PDP government ministerial seats disproportionately in favor of the Igbos ?. Please stop insulting and destabilizing Nigeria

        • Georgina Wellman

          So, in the face of herdsmen killings, continuous abuse and killing by state security agents of citizens, enduring fuel scarcity, government sanctioned corruption in NNPC and pensions, general economic crisis and depression, you still think the Igbo and IPOB are your problem and destabilising your great country? I am sure you are a “detrablised” Nigerians too. Well, remember IPOB has been silent since September 2017. Even so, how can a serious country, as great as this one, allow one insignificant nationality among myriads of nationalities derail her way to immense greatness? Cut them loose.
          It is news to me that anyone want to recreate the Mid-western state/ region. Perhaps a “miscreant” should now lead the protest so we can get to hear about it.
          Biafra is beyond party politics.

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            I had a long discussion yesterday on this topic with my best friend from 1987, who happens to be an Igbo.

            I am supporting Buhari because of his War against corruption, smugglers and all forms criminalizes. He might not be perfect, he is doing a good job. AU and the UN etc has acknowledge his efforts.

            The effect of Buharis failure to stop armed Fulani herdsmen, could have been minimized, if all Southern governors had banned open graving like Ekiti state governor.

            OBA Akenzua 11 championed and “NCNC Otuedo” lead the campaign for the creation of the Midwest in Parliament in 1963. We have no need to degenerate to your level, to be lead by miscreants today.

            There are 5 Igbo States Assemblies and the Nigeria National Assembly, to lead biafra agitation as civilized people..
            Scottish independent campaign is today being lead by SNP in parliament, not by miscreants.

            Please stop insulting Nigerians, violent agitation, blocking Niger bridge, roads, markets and extorting money in the name of biafra.

          • Georgina Wellman

            I have no problem with your support for Buhari for whatever reasons, or for wanting to remain part of Nigeria. Though I doubt very much any group would want to remain after the Igbos manage to extract ourselves from that country, and yes, I am arrogant about that. I made it clear in my earlier comment that what you call Biafra agitation is beyond party politics, and as such, we do not wish for it to be led by a band of sycophantic elites that will relegate the concerns and interests of our people. Besides, who are you to try to impose a leadership on us? Did we impose Oba Akenzua II and Otuedo on you? Any group in Nigeria is free to firmly believe in its elite’s ability to represent its interest, just not us. We have never hidden the distrust for our elites, only that in Nigeria, people do not seek to understand and respect differences in culture. The saying, ‘Igbo has no king’ did not come out of thin air.
            I know to most African minds, whatever is done in the West is worthy of emulation, but we will prosecute our campaign of independence the way we see fit. If Nigeria was a civilised entity, then I might advise we adopt the SNP model that you keep mentioning. Again, Nigerian-unity-non-negotiators like you are selective with the instances with which they make comparisons to Western countries. Two weeks ago, I witnessed black cab drivers demonstrate in London and under police protection too, blocking London Bridge during rush hour, which forced many people including myself, who were going home after work, to walk between city and Southeast London. There was no insults, no injuries and no lives were lost. Compare that with your beloved country.
            Haha, money extortion is the sole occupation of your police and military and you know it, yet your corruption warrior has not managed to end it.

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            Igbo must stop insulting Nigerians and destabilizing Nigerian in the name of biafra.

            You can not claim to be educated and exhibits bestial behavior.
            There are better ways of doings things, right minded people inbibes.
            You can not set aside your elected leaders and want us to accept some huddlums and miscreants as your leaders.

          • Georgina Wellman

            Again, how is the Igbo destabilising Nigeria in the midst of herdsmen killings, Mainagate, Barugate, grasscuttergate, Economic depression etc. Igbo must not do anything to satisfy you.
            I suggest you take your time to study the Nigerian map tonight and hopefully you will notice that the Middle-belt and Midwest are something of a cannon fodder, buffer, if you like, between the Igbo country(ies) and locations of Nigeria’s military installations in the north. Should the Fulani seize full control of the machinery there, we will have enough time to ready ourselves, your region and the Middle-belt, for all their sins, must become the frontiers. In fact, a critical mind can see the frontier now, how many people have died in Igboland from herdsmen killing?

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            Only igbos have problems remaining. You can’t force, insult or intimidate anyone to agree with you.
            Igbo violent biafra agitation is destabilizing for Nigeria. It has the same effect as boko Haram, fulani herdsmen and Ijaw pipelines vandals.
            You can not speak for the Midwest or the Middle Belt.
            We decide what we want in the Midwest/ Bendel. Not igbo biafra agitators.

          • Georgina Wellman

            Have I insulted during the course of our discussion?

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            You called The Midwest and the Middle Belt, cannon fodder.
            That is not completely.

          • Georgina Wellman

            I agree, it is not a compliment, but it is the representation of reality vis-a-vis the killings by herdsmen now and Nigeria’s geography has made it so. There is no bigger insult than the accusation of the Igbo, the only integrated group in Nigeria, of destabilising the country they built. Remember you said we were ‘exhibiting bestial behaviour’ because we are asking for self-determination.

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            Permit me to say that you are being disingenuous.

            Igbos were killed in Enugu State by Fulani herdsmen, when they had an Igbo Commissioners of Police long before 2 people were killed in Edo State. Edo, Delta and Benue States are not more Cannon Fodder than Enugu or Abia States etc.

            Your statement was derisory and insensitive as usual to bully The Midwest & Middle Belt to see your narrow ways of thinking.

            We chose to remain part of Nigeria or go as an independent Country, should Nigeria brake up. We don’t owe anyone including Igbos and biafra agitators any explanation.

            Please send me your email address for the result of 1963 Midwest creation plebiscite and the granting of Royal Warrant to the Midwest by Her Majesty The Queen of England in 1964.