REVEALED: How NFF Appoints Committees Without Commitment
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By Amaechi Agbo
Over the years, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has consistently appointed several Nigeria ex-football players, administrators and journalists into various committees ostensibly to improve on the fortunes of Nigeria football development and growth.
On November 2nd, 2020, the NFF rolled out 195 names of prominent Nigerians who are vested in football knowledge either as former player, administrator, journalists or stakeholder in the beautiful leather game.
These 195 Nigerians were then shared into 21 various sub-committees in order to work collaboratively in ensuring and promoting football in Nigeria.
The committees cuts across finance, Technical development, Youth development, Audit, Legal, Competition Organising, among others.
However, findings indicate that over time, the appointments of these Nigerians into the various committees is a devised means to either patronise and protect existing individual interests or mere rhetorical gimmick by the NFF leadership.
Following the latest appointment of new committees whose lifetime will terminate in 2023, a member of the Technical Study Group and former Inter Milan defender, Taribo West has come out to ridicule the NFF and its unseriousness with the development of Nigeria football.
The ex-footballer-turned-pastor accused the NFF of appointment without official responsibilities.
Speaking on a radio programme monitored in Lagos, the former Super Eagles defender who is on his ‘second missionary journey’ as a committee member after being appointed into the Technical and development committee two years ago, said duri g the two years, the committee did not do their function as they were just given roles to play.
“The chairman (NFF President), called me; he called me by himself and I want to thank him for that. He told me that ‘I am inside the group and that my name has been mentioned.’ I said ok. I thanked him but you know it is a system where nobody does anything properly.
“When you are mentioning somebody’s name that you have put him in a department, it should be made officially. And in that, you should let him know what his responsibilities or assignments are. Nothing is mentioned. You don’t tell him his role, they just mentioned names. So where do I start from?’ he queried.
“Two years ago,” he continued, “Aba Yola was the president (chairman) I was the vice president (chairman) of the technical committee with James Peters but at the end of the day, nothing was done. We really did not do our function. We were just given roles to play. Sometimes somebody can just use your image face and use it to build a certain kind of profile for themselves. That was what they tried to involve me into and at the end of the day, we did not play any impact in the list. Nothing.”
Taribo also accused the NFF of appointment without payment adding that he did not receive any payment from the federation as a member of the Technical and Development Committee since 2018 till date.
“What are they giving you money for? Since we have been appointed for the past two or three years, nobody has given us anything. I don’t know of others but myself I have not received any kobo from anybody.
“And even the meetings they called me up for, I paid my hotel bill, I paid my flight ticket bill. When I got to the place, I requested for my refund and they asked me to submit my account number. Till today, I have not seeing one dime. I did not see anything and I did not take it up”
It could also be remembered that Barr. Chris Green, Rivers State Football Association Chairman who was also appointed into the Facilities Committee rejected the appointment. His rejection was accepted by the NFF almost immediately.
It could also not be forgotten that in January 2019, former Gombe State Football Association Chairman, Alhaji Gara Gombe resigned his membership of the NFF Reform Committee. The Committee was set up by the federation to reform its battered image following myriads corruption allegations.
The former Nigeria Football Federation board member tendering his resignation cited various reasons for his decision.
In his resignation letter to NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, Gara Gombe said he doubted the sincerity of the committee’s efforts to sanitise the running of the game.
“I am not fully convinced that the NFF is indeed ready for Reforms.
“The membership of the committee is populated by people whom l am convinced are not supposed to be in the committee as their presence will undermine any meaningful impact of the reform in Nigeria Football Administration,” read part of the letter.
The committee which was constituted in December 2018 was expected to put Nigeria Football on the right and it is chaired by NFF first vice president, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi
Two years after the committee was setup, they are yet to submit their findings to the NFF authority.