A Nigerian journalist has invoked the Freedom of Information Law to ask the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick Melvin, to provide details of how much the federation received from the Federal Government for the AFCON 2019 and 2021, which took place in Egypt and Cameroon respectively.
This is happening while NFF President Amaju Pinnick is planning to hand over on September 30 when his second tenure ends to enable him to face his future as a full-time FIFA executive council member.
This writer, who invoked relevant sections of the Freedom of Information Law in Nigeria, made a two-page request dated August 22nd and received by the Federation on August 23rd,2022, asked the NFF President to disclose the exact amount received from the FG for the 2019 and 2021 AFCON, and a detailed breakdown of how the monies were spent.
The issue of financial transparency and accountability during the two-term administration of Amaju Pinnick has been a source of major concern, but Pinnick, who is preparing to hand over, probably needs to provide these details or handover to someone else who will be left with battling to provide the details.
Prior to invoking the Freedom of Information Act, several online publications in Nigeria gave reports of how the NFF had made requests from the Federal Government of Nigeria through the office of the Sports Ministry to enable the Federation to raise funds for the two AFCONS which took place under Pinnick’s administration.
An online publication titled NFF Clears Air On 2019 AFCON Budget, gave a detailed report of how a top NFF official, Kwande, defended the NFF budget at the Ministry of Budget and National Planning before it was approved, but the said story did not give account of the exact amount that was released by the Federal Government.
Furthermore, the 2021 AFCON gave room for further queries, as another story with the headline NFF Needs N15 Billion for AFCON, World Cup, gave an account of an AFCON where Nigeria did not go beyond the quarterfinal stage and yet failed to qualify for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. Yet no visible report could give an account of the total amount received by the NFF despite the Federal Government’s visible campaign and massive support for the event.
With less than two months until the Amaju-Pinnick board hands over, it is expected that the NFF, who have over time preached their respect for the rule of law, comply with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act by giving the necessary information as requested.
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