Wednesday, March 14, 2018 8:04 pm
The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to to probe alleged missing 150,000 dollars paid to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF).
The House will also look into the threat of banning the country from IAAF activities if the money was not recovered.
This followed a motion under Matters of Urgent National Importance by Rep. Douye Diri (PDP-Bayelsa) during plenary.
Moving the motion, Diri said that media reports had it that IAAF paid 150,000 dollars to AFN instead of 15,000 dollars which was its annual grant to member-Federation for 2017.
He said that it was reported that IAAF accountants discovered the error and asked AFN to refund the excess payment, but that the money seemed to have disappeared into thin air.
The lawmaker said that he was aware that some AFN Board were calling for an emergency congress to look into the scandal.
He said that the members had faulted the Sport Minister, Solomon Dalung, who was said to have set up a committee to probe the circumstances surrounding the missing grant.
He expressed worry over allegations that the recipient of the money may have used his private account to collect it from IAAF.
According to Diri, this happened when the minister dissolved boards of sports federations.
He wondered how money could be received and spent with approval from relevant authorities contrary to extant laws, and in this era of Treasury Single Account (TSA) operation by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
He pointed out that Nigeria’s image was not only being tarnished by the failure of AFN to refund the money, but that the country ran the risk of being banned from international competitions.
The legislator expressed concern over the effect such a ban would have on the youth of the country, who saw sports as a viable means of livelihood.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
The House, therefore, mandated its Committee on Sports to carry out forensic audit on the issue and determine steps to be taken to recover the money and prevent Nigeria from being banned.
The committee would also determine measures to be put in place to prevent such infractions in future.
The members also resolved to invite Dalung, AFN and Central Bank of Nigeria and any other connected party to explain their roles in the matter.