The Nigeria Football Federation has dismissed in its entirety, a video documentary released online by some faceless elements, which quoted outlandish figures as having been misappropriated by the NFF over the years and using uncouth and slanderous words against the leadership of the Federation.
The NFF has come across a video documentary released online by some faceless elements and disgruntled individuals who lumped half-truths with outright falsehood in a failed bid to present the Nigeria Football Federation and its leaders to the public in poor light.
So many outlandish claims were made in the video, including the fact that more than the sum of N10 Billion had been misappropriated in the NFF over the past three-and-half years! For a Federation whose total revenue income in a year comes to about N3.5Billion (including Government allocation, FIFA and CAF grants and sponsorship fees), and with 10 National Teams to run with most of them always engaged in one competition or the other, ‘stealing’ the sum of N10 Billion from the coffers in three-and-half years could only have been possible and executed in the imagination of the scandal mongers.
The outlandish video repeated a distorted story of a friendly match with Bolivia in March 2015, which we have previously corrected and explained to the general public. We reiterate that Nigeria was to play Bolivia in a friendly in March 2015, but Bolivia pulled out of the encounter at the last minute citing the National Elections in Nigeria, though some sources told us at the time that it could have been as a result of the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa at that time. Whatever monies we had paid the company recommended by our FIFA Match Agent (Jairo Pachon), JER Trade Consult was refunded and used to prosecute the match that eventually took place – versus Uganda. The match was not organized with FIFA money as erroneously claimed by the promoters of falsehood but with funds from the Akwa Ibom State Government.
We must also note that Mr. Jairo Pachon is a well –respected and highly qualified FIFA Match Agent and he has been working with the NFF since year 2008. He was not appointed by the present NFF administration. He has organized most of the international friendly matches played by the National Teams of Nigeria since the year 2008.
There was a mention of the 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. To the best of our knowledge (and as known to all sane persons not in a state of delirium), the Super Eagles played only four (4) matches during the 2017 AFCON Qualifiers (versus Chad in Kaduna; versus Tanzania in Dar es Salaam; versus Egypt in Kaduna and; versus Egypt in Alexandria). The claims of State Governments sponsoring the said matches do not hold water but is another of the straws that the producers of the fake documentary tried to hold onto.
Again, just like some other disgruntled individuals who had ranted over the weeks (probably the same people authored the documentary), they lumped together a number of States which names they could remember, and invented how much those States donated to the NFF for Nigeria’s participation in the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.
It is also pathetic that they continue to drag the name of the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic into their inglorious venture. The story has been clearly spelt out that the Senate President made a promise to the team on goals scored ($50,000 per goal) and he has since redeemed the promise, right there in Russia. He did not give money to the NFF for the World Cup.
We remain grateful to the States and corporate bodies that donated money to the NFF for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. We are also grateful to the Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission and the Executive Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, who have come out to deny that their States donated money to NFF for the World Cup. Rather, the NFF received donations from few States, including Rivers State, which made payment in two tranches of N50million and N10million to the NFF Remita Account. Abia State donated N15million. The funds were paid to the NFF either through its funds manager or direct to the NFF’s CBN Account. A couple of companies, Sahara Energy and Prime Atlantic (whose CEOs are personal friends of Mr. Pinnick) donated $50,000 each and paid to the NFF through the same Accounts.
We also received the sum of N100million from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the sum of N50million from the Central Bank of Nigeria. There were no donations from Akwa Ibom State and NNPC, which were among the many institutions the producers of the video reeled off in their trance.
No matter the volume of blackmail and petitions and falsehood, the NFF is determined to sustain its relationship with Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC) as Financial Consultants and Advisers. FDC is a reputable company nationally and globally, which was appointed by the NFF Congress at its meeting of 23rd November 2014 and it is instructive that only last month, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) appointed the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane as Chairman of the Presidential Committee on New Minimum Wage to, along others, assist the Federal Government to identify the alternative sources of revenue to fund the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.
We reiterate that during the first term of Pinnick, there were 20 meetings of the Executive Committee. We doubt if any other Board in living memory had as many meetings. The NFF has kept accurate records of all finances as audited by PwC and approved by the Congress. For the first time, the NFF published its annual Audited Accounts in three major national dailies on Thursday, 20th December 2018 and anyone in doubt can access copies of those publications.
This method of using the social media to peddle slanderous lies is the same pattern that we have seen over the months with the mob action and media trial all over the place, especially from persons and groups who lost out in the NFF elections. We insist there is no mismanagement under the administration of Amaju Pinnick but absolute transparency in the way and manner it puts out all its activities in the open for the good of the game.
Monies coming to the NFF from FIFA and CAF are paid into NFF accounts at the Central Bank of Nigeria. Neither organization pays monies meant for Member Associations into private accounts of individuals.
We see this video documentary as no more than another attempt by certain forces who lost out during the NFF elections to whip up sentiments against the NFF and its leaders, albeit doing a very poor job of it. It is clear that it is the same mob that has been going from one security agency to the other hawking stranger-than-fiction amd misleading petitions, and having seen the fruitlessness of their venture, are resorting to other underhand tactics to try and make the Federation look bad. As we have stated previously, the annual subvention from the FGN to the NFF has been on the average of N1.2billion (with perhaps 80% cash backing) in the last four years while sponsors’ income averaged between N900million and N1.9billion, with Development Funds of about N500million. These give the NFF a total of about N3.6billion average guaranteed revenue annually. It it thus shocking to see persons supposedly in their right senses bandying figures of N3.4billion, N5.5billion, N6.7billion, N10.5billion, N16billion and $16million as funds misappropriated from the NFF. You wonder where these humongous amounts of money are coming from? Indeed, the NFF has defended every petition put forward with the appropriate documents and evidence, and in its usual transparent manner has copied same to the Presidency, Federal Ministry of Sports, Office of the AGF, Office of the Director General of DSS, Office of the Inspector General of Police and other relevant anti –corruption agencies. It is obvious the hawkers of these petitions have gone round in circles and are now resorting to public blackmail with this latest video.
Once more, we want to alert the general public to disregard this highly libellous video documentary which did no more than exercise the dastardly option of spreading falsehood against institutions and individuals while remaining faceless. They have shown their intention of calling a dog a bad name just to hang it by equating a ceremonial presentation of a dummy cheque to one for value!