Minister sets up panel on ‘missing’ IAAF $150 000 grant

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Sports Minister, Solomon Dalong

TheGuardian SPORTS Minister, Solomon Dalung has set up a committee to unearth the circumstances surrounding the alleged disappearance of $150 000 grant, which world athletics ruling body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) sent to the Athletics Federations of Nigeria (AFN).

IAAF reportedly paid the amount as part of its $15 000 annual grants to member federations for the year 2017, but the AFN erroneously received $150 000. According to reports, the IAAF accountants later discovered the error and subsequently asked AFN to refund the excess payment. But nobody in the federation seems to know what has become of the money.

A board member of the AFN told The Guardian yesterday that the minister has set up a committee to look into it (the missing $150 000 grant).

“The only thing I know for now is that the sports minister has set up a committee to look into the issue. I am not a member of the committee, so I won’t know when and how the committee is carrying out its work. But I am sure members of the committee must have met with the AFN Secretary General, Amaechi Akawo,” the board member stated.

Another AFN board member hinted yesterday that the money was paid during the last administration before the Ibrahim Shehu Gusau-led board came into existence.

“This IAAF $150 000 grant is not new to some of us. The transaction was carried out during the last administration before we came on board. It even got to a stage when the secretary (Akawo) was transferred from AFN, but some people mounted pressure on the sports minister to return him. That was how his letter of re-deployment was reversed,” the board member alleged yesterday.

AFN Vice President, Olamide George as well as Technical Director, Sunday Adeleye said at different interviews with The Guardian that majority of the board members knew nothing of the ‘missing’ $150 000 grant.

Akawo refused to answer several calls put across to him by The Guardian yesterday. The Special Assistant to the Sports Minister on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze also refused to pick her calls yesterday.

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