NFF: One AGM, Two communiqués

NFF: One AGM, Two communiqués

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By Our Correspondent

The Nigeria Football Federation on Tuesday held its 75th Annual General Meeting, AGM in Benin, Edo state capital, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report

Expectedly at the end of the meeting far-reaching deliberations and resolutions concerning Nigeria football were made and arrived at culminating in the AGM producing two communiqués thereafter.

The communiqués are hereunder reproduced unedited

COMMUNIQUE OF THE MEETING OF NFF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE HELD AT THE EDO HERITAGE HOTEL & SUITES, BENIN CITY, EDO STATE ON TUESDAY, 17TH DECEMBER 2019

The Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation met at the Edo Heritage Hotel & Suites, Benin City, Edo State on Tuesday, 17th December 2019 to deliberate on important issues in Nigerian Football and resolved as follows:

1.         The Executive Committee heaped plaudits on His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and the Federal Government as a whole for tremendous financial and moral support, as well as encouragement, of the various National Teams in their programmes and activities, as well as the institution of deliberate policies that create a conducive environment for football to thrive.

2.         In view of the high importance of the Super Eagles qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals, Board resolved to work assiduously, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, to see that all hands are on deck to accomplish this mission. The NFF President was mandated to meet formally with the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Sunday Dare with a view to charting the right course on the matter and putting the project in hard focus.

3.        The Committee rued the unimpressive outing of the U17 and U20 National Teams in global championships this year, as well as the non-qualification of the Super Falcons and the U23 men team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It resolved that henceforth, players, coaches and backroom staff of National Teams would be tasked to work much harder in their different positions to bring honour to the country from any international match/championship. Board was particularly unhappy about the performances of the Super Falcons and the U23 boys despite the active and tremendous support and encouragement of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports.

4.        Related to the unimpressive outing of the Beach Soccer National Team, Supersand Eagles, at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay last month, Board unanimously resolved to put on hold Nigeria’s participation in international beach soccer tournaments until such a time that certain benchmarks, most importantly the creation and sustenance of a beach soccer league in the country, are met. A five-man committee headed by Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi and including Mallam Shehu Dikko, Alh. Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu and Dr. Mohammed Sanusi was put in place to determine the modalities and guidelines, and to encourage States wishing to launch full-steam beach soccer leagues and compete among themselves or internationally.

5.        The Board approved a fresh, five-year contract for the General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, with effect from January 1, 2020, while a four-year contract (with the first year being probationary) was approved for the Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme. The Board also congratulated Messrs Ayobola Oyeyode and Lawrence Katken on being the first members of Staff in the history of the NFF to attain full directorship in the Federal Civil Service.

6.        Executive Committee approved the 2018 Financial Statement and the proposed 2020 Budget of the Federation, with the sum of N7.5billion earmarked for total expenditure of the Federation in the year 2020.

7.        Board also mandated the Secretariat to ensure the publication in at least four (4) National newspapers, of the audited account of the Federation for the year 2018. 

8.        The Committee praised the Executive Governor of Edo State, His Excellency Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki and his administration for hosting the Retreat for Chairmen of Nigerian Football and the 75th Annual General Assembly of the NFF, and also for visible and extensive investment in the sports sector.

IN ATTENDANCE: Amaju Melvin Pinnick (President); Seyi Akinwunmi (1st Vice President); Shehu Dikko (2nd Vice President); Ibrahim Musa Gusau (Member); Yusuf Ahmed ‘Fresh’ (Member); Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande (Member); Sharif Rabiu Inuwa (Member); Musa A. Duhu (Member); Ganiyu Majekodunmi (Member); Emmanuel Ibah (Member); Chidi Ofo Okenwa (Member); Aisha Falode (Member); Mohammed Alkali (Member); Mohammed Sanusi (Secretary)

ABSENT WITH APOLOGY: Felix Anyansi-Agwu (Member); Babagana Kalli (Member)

COMMUNIQUE OF THE 75TH ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE NIGERIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION HELD AT THE EDO HERITAGE HOTEL & SUITES, BENIN CITY ON TUESDAY, 17TH DECEMBER, 2019

The Congress of Nigeria Football Federation held its 75th Annual General Assembly in Benin City, Edo State on Tuesday, 17th December, 2019 and resolved as follows:

1.     The General Assembly poured encomiums on His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR as a person and the Federal Government as a body, for continued robust support and encouragement for the programmes, activities and events of the various National Teams, the Nigeria Football Federation and Nigerian football generally.

2. The Congress also commended the efforts of the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, in supporting the work of the Nigeria Football Federation in the preparation and participation of Nigeria’s National Teams in international matches and championships.

3.     Congress approved the 2018 Financial Statement and the 2020 Budget of the Nigeria Football Federation, the former subject to any further adjustment by external auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers, and also approved that the Financial Statement shall be published in at least four (4) National newspapers to ensure wider circulation to all stakeholders and further entrench the transparency mantra of the NFF. Congress commended the NFF for a sterling financial performance in the year 2018 which saw unprecedented income from sponsors and others sources to complement Government support, in spite of the distractions and challenges. The sum of N7.5billion is earmarked for total expenditure of the Federation for the year 2020.

4.     In view of the toxic environment and the reputational damage that the spate of negative reports, half-truths, falsehood and insidious rumours are causing for the Nigerian Football ecosystem, Congress charged aggrieved stakeholders and other Members of the Football family to adopt more meaningful, fruitful and useful dispute resolution methods in the interest of the Nigerian game, by escalating their grievances to the Congress for amicable settlement.

5.     The General Assembly approved that the reports of the Statutes Amendment Committee and the Reforms Committee of the NFF be stepped down pending the assent of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to the NFF Bill, which has already been passed by both houses of the National Assembly. After the presidential assent, the reports would then be harmonized with the new Bill. Congress commended members of both committees for the work done so far.

6.     Congress endorsed a proposal by the Executive Committee for a fresh, 5-year contract for the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, with effect from January 1, 2020 while a four-year contract (the first year being probationary) was approved for the Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme.  The Assembly however charged the General Secretary to institute processes and methods to ensure a more efficient and effective NFF Secretariat.

7.     Congress charged the NFF Board and Secretariat to work assiduously to ensure the qualification of the Super Eagles for both the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the other National Teams for their various African and global championships, while implementing robust and workable policies that will return Nigeria to the top table of youth football internationally.

8.     General Assembly passed a vote of confidence on the Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation headed by Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick.

9.     Congress praised the Executive Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his administration for hosting the 75th Annual General Assembly of the Nigeria Football Federation and the Retreat for Chairmen of Nigerian Football, and also for robust investment in the sports sector generally.

Communique Drafting Committee: Alh. A. C. Ladan (Chairman); Mr. Bayo Olanlege (Member); Alh. Umar Isah Suleiman (Member); Mr. Ademola Olajire (Secretary)

Yahaya-Kwande dismisses Dalung’s talk on crisis with NFF

Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande has described as a concoction of half truths and outright falsehood a statement credited to a former Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung that crisis erupted between him (Dalung) and the NFF over payment of monies to Nigeria’s U23 team during their Rio 2016 Olympics qualifying tournament in Senegal in 2015.

“There would have been no need to respond to Mr. Dalung other than to put the record straight as we still respect his status as a former Minister of Sports. His statement was full of half truths and blatant falsehood and we wonder what the objective is at this juncture if not to create more distractions and toxic issues around Nigerian Football. Mr. Dalung’s problem was that he came into office with a pre-conceived objective of effecting regime-change in the NFF for political benefits. His failure continues to bite him hard even after he has left office.

 “The NFF never said it wanted to disburse the money to the players. When he said the Ministry would do so, we gladly obliged the Ministry the account details of the players. His so-called revelation that the NFF President personally came to him asking for the money is a blatant lie.

 “Till today, Mr. Dalung and the Sports Ministry refused to pay for the camping of the same team in the United States for the Olympics. Our FIFA Match Agent who arranged the camp is still being owed, and a Nigerian businessman who paid for the charter of an aircraft for the purpose of conveying the team to Brazil has not been refunded his money. Anyone can call Mr. Idowu and ask him.”

 Yahaya-Kwande recalled that despite stating that he was unaware of the team camping in the USA and that the team officials might have been engaging in human trafficking, the football team won Nigeria’s ONLY medal at the Olympics in Brazil.

“That we did not respond to most of Mr. Dalung’s denigrating statements while he was in office was not for lack of what to say; we held back because of the high respect we have for our father, President Muhammadu Buhari, who appointed him. Mr. Dalung should henceforth respect himself by telling only the truth. It is not the place of a former Minister, having completed his duty tour, to be going about spreading non-factual and denigrating statements against his former subordinates simply to sustain the toxic environment he left behind or to distract the new managers of sports in Nigeria.

“For as long as we can remember, the Ministry of Sports has been disbursing money directly to players and officials of teams involved in competitions superintended by the Ministry, such as the All-Africa Games, the U23 AFCON and the Olympic Games. NFF never contemplated changing that process while Mr. Dalung was in office.” 

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