The Nigeria Premier League board has less than 21 days to settle the N100m debt it currently owes a new generation bank or risk losing its secretariat located at 31 Karaye Close, Garki 2, Abuja.
The secretariat was used as collateral to secure a N100m loan but the league body has failed to adhere to the repayment plan agreed to by the board and their creditors.
Already the NPL is enmeshed in series of financial crises as obvious in the directive to clubs to help pay allowances of match officials handling league matches for over five weeks now.
For many, a situation in which the clubs are helping with the duties of the NPL shows they are broke thus fueling fears that the board might not be able to save its secretariat form being taken over.Blame games
Davidson Owunmi, the former NPL boss, has heaped the blame on his successors for the ugly situation the League body currently finds itself.
According to him, the then sponsors of the league owed the NPL over N900m and the league body had taken them to court to enforce the payment. Mr. Onwunmi said that though a compromise was reached, the debt ought to have been cleared.
“While in the court, the NPL board agreed that a loan should be obtained to keep running the league but what baffles me is that even though the original amount was not paid, the board ought to have settled the debt from the N350m that was finally paid by the former sponsors ” Mr. Owumi said.
Sharing the same opinion with Mr. Owumi, suspended NPL board member, Akin Akinbobola, who was part of the team that negotiated with the bank for the loan, has expressed shock at the non-repayment of the loan despite receiving substantial amounts of money from its former sponsors.
In response, a current board member of the NPL, Owolabi Wopa, absolved the board of any blame insisting the ongoing legal battle on league’s title sponsorship rights has resulted in the current situation and remains optimistic that the issue will soon be sorted out. Interestingly, the pioneer chairman of the NPL ,Oyuki Obaseki, revealed that the edifice in question cost the body over N200 million to purchase even before carrying out some renovation work on it in 2009.