The Ministry of Youth and Sports yesterday told the House of Representatives Committee on Sports that there is really no cogent reason to continue with the bill seeking to repeal the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) Act for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Act.
Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Adesola Olusade said contrary to the constant excuses given by the NFF for demand for the new act, there is no need for that because the football house has all the free hands it wanted to run football in the country.
He further claimed that because of the resolve of the federal government to allow the NFF to administer football, it has continued to deal with it and even fund it despite the fact that it has no legal backing yet. Earlier in his introduction, the sponsor of the bill, Hon. Sam Patrick said the effort to enact the NFF Act is in line with the ongoing call for the restructuring of the country. He frowned at what he described as the situation where the government always appoints a minister who in turn runs it the way he likes.
According to him, the bill will make it possible for the elected board members of the NFF to truly decide how to run football including deciding about its funding. Olusade further wondered why the NFF will always find it comfortable to run cap in hands to the federal government for funding only to turn around immediately to blackmail it of interference the moment it demands accountability.
“The Ministry is not in any way interfering in the activities of the NFF even though it has no legal backing yet. We are doing this so as not to disrupt the administration of football in the country. “Even today, the way the NFF is constituted there is little or no input from the government despite the fact that they are being funded through the budget as a parastatal but they still ambush government by relying on some non existent laws.
“FIFA does not fund the NFF completely yet they use it to harass government, this is robbing Peter to pay Paul. For instance the NFF has not shown capacity of prudent management over the years.” In his very brief presentation, the first vice president of the NFF, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi who represented the NFF president, Amaju Pinnick said the federation has made its position known as it presented to the Senate Committee on Sports.
He also said the NFF has put in place measures to ensure it was self sustaining without the frequent recourse to the government.