Sunday, 23 April 2017

Women Football League insists on Akeredolu’s largesse

Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) board has demanded immediate remittance to its coffer the financial aid to the body by the Ondo state governor from the managers of the Ondo State Football Agency (OSFA).

The NWFL had written to the governor for sponsorship of its programmes cum the 2016/17 matchday 1 star match involving hosts, Sunshine Queens and Ibom Angels at the Akure Township Stadium on Saturday, March 25.

The request was graciously granted by the sports loving governor which saw to the release of N2.5m to the league body through the office of the Ondo State Football Agency.

However, the said amount developed a twist as the agency in turn held onto the money while their promise to remit same to the league body purse on Tuesday, March 28 has not been fulfilled till date.

It’s on record that all the said expenses the agency claimed to have incurred on behalf of the league body in the organisation of the NWFL star match were duly borne by the NWFL – match indemnity, security, accommodation, feeding, entertainment, among other things. Curiously, the agency has assumed ownership of the fund as they termed it part of its annual subvention from the government. The NWFL leadership headed by Aisha Falode has challenged the agency claim by insisting the entire money is theirs as expressly stated in the release letter for the fund.

“The entire money is ours based on our passionate request to the amiable governor, His Excellency Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to assist us on the sponsorship of the league specifically on the star match involving hosts, Sunshine Queens and Ibom Angels at the Akure Township Stadium on Saturday, March 25.

“With the help of his loving wife, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu who is the grand matron of Sunshine Queens the sum of N2.5m was released to the body through the Ondo State Football Agency (OSFA) for onward transfer to the NWFL. “Shockingly, instead of the agency to forward forthwith as directed to the account of the league body as agreed they assumed the right of ownership of the fund and falsely claimed they incurred huge cost for the organisation of the NWFL star match. “That was none of their briefs as they were to simply hand over the said amount to us for the purpose we minute to the governor in our humble request.

“The then OSFA secretary, Folayemi Joshua claim the said amount was part of their annual subvention from the government is an afterthought and flies on the surface as the agency never made any request to the effect prior to the time we dutifully wrote to the governor for assistance. “It’s quite ridiculous and unheard of the staggering amount he claimed the agency expanded on the star match over fund that is not theirs in the first place when we were the one that took full cost responsibility of the match.

“Joshua claimed the agency spent a whopping N1,470,000.00 on the opening match covering publicity, security, feeding, mobilisation of the supporters club, stipends to the stewards, entertainment of match officials, medicals, ball boys, Red Cross, provision of public address system, stadium hire, general cleaning, accommodation and feeding of members of the NWFL to the match.

“He claimed to have brought the sum of N1,030,000.00 to the NWFL with the intention of giving us N1,000,000.00 to cover transportation as well as honorarium while the remaining N30,000.00 stays with the agency to take care of other uncovered debts which was promptly turned down as the league body insisted on the having the whole N2.5m.

“These are daylight lies I tell you factually that we were not entertained as claimed by the agency on matchday not even one person in the Very Important Persons (VIP) box.

“Contrary to the bogus amount claimed to have been spent on accommodation and feeding the actual amount we paid or expanded on accommodation is available for public scrutiny and verifiable.

“It’s not our sincere wish to join issues with the agency as we will not do anything to belittle His and Her Excellencies’ undying love for the women football but we want to just put records straight that it was on the strength of our request that approval was given and NWFL specifically made the request to the government.

“We therefore insist that the agency should forthwith remit the stated sum of N2.5m to our purse without further delay as they did not spend a dime on us as far as the organisation of the star match is concerned.

“The agency should see themselves as partners of progress and not a cog in the wheel as the NWFL is working assiduously to uplift the good game for the benefit of all,” said Falode.

The NWFL has just witnessed matchday 4 ties across the two groups with heart-warming performances and results.

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