Nigeria’s President Bola has approved N12Billion for backpay to the country’s national teams. News Central’s Sports Editor and Analyst, Babatunde Koikoi says the payment may revive the low energy of players who will be getting paid.
According to Koikoi who appeared live on News Central TV’s Jasiri on Tuesday, January 9, teams have been owed for a very long time, and often have to painstakingly source for funds to be able to represent the country in competitions.
He said the lack of funds affected many players who lost the energy and zeal to be at their best on the pitch.
“I think the money will bring the needed boost.
“The truth is that, they have called these players to the national teams, and they did show up. It’s just that they didn’t play with that intensity that they rather would, if they felt financially secured.
“The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been cash-trapped for a while. They have been having issues getting money from the government. Some of their sponsors were also pulling out, and resources were reducing by the day. This means a lot of people were no longer being paid salaries, bonuses, and allowances.
“A lot of the national team players felt slightly aggrieved by the fact that their well-being was not being prioritised, despite representing their fatherland.
“People are asking why just four national teams? The 12billion includes just the senior national teams, the Super Falcons, and the Super Eagles. There are 20 national teams, and an under 17 national team.
“People have criticised the NFF over the years, but they can only work with resources at their disposal.” he said.
Responding to how the NFF can solve the issue of lack of funds permanently, the Sports Editor said
“Believe it or not, NFF is the only sports association in Nigeria that is mentioned in the Nigerian constitution. This means they are entitled to funds from the government.
“However, it is one thing for the government to allocate funds, it is another thing for that money to get to those it has been allocated to. Some processes take a really long time,” he stated.
President Bola Tinubu gave a nod for the clearing of outstanding payments owed to Nigeria’s national teams in various sports, including the Super Eagles amounting to N12billion.
A statement on the President media centre on X confirmed the approval on Sunday, January 7.
“President @officialABAT has approved the payment of N12 billion outstanding backlog for Nigeria’s National teams of various sports, which includes Super Eagles and others.
“The payment entails the clearing of the senior national team coach salaries running up to 15 months, payments of allowances and promises due to the senior national teams, females, and Under-20 national team.
“This is coming at a time when the Super Eagles of Nigeria are preparing to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations, which is billed to start later this month,” the post read.