NFF President, Chris Giwa Promises Bonus Parity In National Teams...Encourages To Look Beyond German Loss

President of Nigeria Football Federation, Ambassador Chris Giwa has promised to enthrone a policy of bonus and allowance parity in the national teams to elicit the same level of commitment, and dedication across board and checkmate any shred of perceived welfare disparity on the basis of gender or classification.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the NFF President, Mr. Victor Iroele, Giwa, was reacting to the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung’s recent comment after his visit to the Falconets camp in Austria saying that it was unfair to treat national team players welfare with disparity on the basis of gender as he had watched from outside the sad development and has an opportunity now as an insider to bring about change to this policy.

‘ Most importantly, we have restored payment of allowances and bonuses to all age group teams, like what obtained during the era of Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, Sani Lulu and Aminu Maigiri, which also was a period of great achievements for the country in age-group competitions,which was surprisingly stopped in the last three years, ’Giwa stated.

‘We want to adopt a more holistic, sustainable and enduring policy on the issues of bonus, allowance, estacode and travelling logistics, and arrive at bonus and allowance parity, where no team or group feels discriminated against, on the basis of gender or age. But first, we will present it before the board, get it approval, and then agree with the congress, before making the details public.’

The NFF President further argued: ‘This approach will make it easy for us to budget, manage our resources transparently and accountably, above all, empower the players to know their entitlements before any competition, and also reduce all areas of friction and complaints, especially, with the age-group teams, who have been at the receiving end of this inconsistent policy administered at the whims and caprice of the administrators.’

Giwa equally noted :’ When I arrived at the NFF secretariat, I met a workforce, suffering from very low morale bothering on total neglect, some of them complaining of having not travelled, even for any competition in the last four years. There is no way, we can continue along this path, considering the fact that the greatest asset of any organisation is its workforce. The kind of staff presently on ground cannot drive any enviable vision, except they are well motivated.’

‘ I can tell you authoritatively that staff are being owed between N800 to N900m in entitlements between 2015 and date. How can you expect these staff to function efficiently and effectively? This is in addition to over N150m owed travelling agents and over N200m debt to a hotelier in Abuja. These figures have been as depressing as they have raising questions as to the mega sponsorship deals we have read in the media and to what level of support does FIFA support our teams? Giwa asked rhetorically.

‘The  last one month,  as an insider, asking questions and reviewing the books,  has been one of concern to the board as records have shown, unarguably, that government remains the biggest spender in the growth and development of sports, and football in particular in the country. The Federal Government spends as much as 90 to 95 percent of football funding in the country, with FIFA and CAF accounting for the balance. We will take responsibility for verifiable debts and find ways and means of paying them, after reconciling with the parties concerned, because we believe that government is a continuum,’ the NFF President affirmed.

Giwa appealed to the players, coaches, staff and families concerned :’Please give us time to settle down, get over this unnecessary distractions , focus on how to reconcile the debts on grounds and offset them as soon as possible. We want to focus on formulating policies that will fast-track football development in the country from the council levels to the state, without any friction with any of our affiliates.’
‘We want the leagues to commence as soon as possible, and our dream is to pursue a transparent league, where genuine champions will represent the country. We want the clubs to pay the players as and when due, even if some people intend to keep postponing the leagues reception. We must also place on record that government owns 95 percent or more of the clubs and those saddled with the responsibility of managing these clubs should show a sense of responsibility and pursue the objective of empowering the youth, who have chosen football as a career,’ the NFF President averred.

‘We must also put on record that the struggle that has brought us where we are today, is not about me or any individual, but one of liberating football from the strangle- hold of some individuals, who have held the beautiful game captive, excluding many and disenfranchising committed stakeholders over any trumped up charges at the detriment of our football development.’

‘Our country thrives on the rule of law and Mr President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR is an advocate of the rule of law and believes in the independence of the judiciary. On our part, we will continue to respect the sanctity of the judiciary, unlike some individuals, who, despite Supreme Court ruling, affirming the judgment of the Federal  High Court, Jos, still parade themselves as officials of the Nigeria Football Federation, which is an overt affront on the judiciary.’

The NFF President promised : ’We will work harmoniously with the supervising Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, without being subservient, we will respect constituted authorities, because the Holy writ also enjoins us to respect our leaders, without being slavish, we will always consult with critical stakeholders, pursue an all inclusive football family and democratize the political space for all genuine football stakeholders to offer their services ,if they so wish, as against the present attempts at running the game like a cult.’

...Look Beyond Loss To Germany

Meanwhile, the NFF President has enjoined the Falconets to look beyond the 0-1 loss to Germany in their opening group D match played at Saint Malo, France at the ongoing FIFA Under-20 Women World cup.

The Falconets lost to 2010 champions, Germany in a very tough and explosive encounter, despite throwing all they had into the match.
‘You still have two more games against Haiti and China to make amends and pick one of the two slots in Group D ,and we have confidence in your ability to excel, ’ Giwa stated.

The NFF President added : ‘Falling is not what matters, but ability to rise from the ashes of defeat and redefine yourself, especially, when people have written you off’.
‘I want you to remain focused, determined and confident that it is not over, until it is over in football, and I know God will grant you the grace and favour to succeed,’ he posited.

Giwa finally assured the team: ‘On our part be rest assured your allowances and bonuses will be paid, as we demonstrated with the Flying Eagles when they defeated Mauritanian in Lagos.’

The Falconets will next take on Haiti on Thursday before wrapping up the group game against China on August 13.

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