By Philips Adefioye
Former president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria,(AFN) Mr Dan Ngerem has taken a swipe on Nigeria’s sports administrators who cause the federal government to spend money hosting international competitions without getting anything in return.
Ngerem told Saturday Vanguard sports in an exclusive interview in Lagos that the joke out there in international sporting bodies was that the country has too much money to host an event without asking for any benefit in return.
“Nigeria spends money at times without asking for commensurate support and responsibility in return. I have represented the country in my federation (AFN) at the continental level and the joke out there is that we are ‘money miss road’, which means we spend money the way we see it.
“The question to ask yourself is, Issa Hayatou has been CAF president for two decades now, what has Cameroon hosted? Starting from the Nigeria ‘99 World Youth Championship (WYC) to Ghana/Nigeria Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 to the 2003 All Africa Games and to the last U-17 FIFA World Cup where the country spent close to N13 billion on a secondary school competition in a country that does not have secondary school sports.
“Cameroon is using their money to fix their electricity, to fix their roads, to fix their education system and we are spending these billions without anything in return”. Ngerem said that the nomination of Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima by the Nigeria Football Association was a good one but pointed out that some Nigerians are already saying that he will not be able to get the slot.
He said that the country could as well will wait for CAF at the corner because if the country can spend billions on sports like USA or China, the country must get something in return for hosting its competitions.
“ I heard people making comments that Galadima may not succeed. If he does not succeed, let Nigeria wait for CAF at the corner. Who again in Africa apart from South Africa has spent the kind of money we have spent on African sports?
“Like I said, I counted from 1999, check the billions and now we are sending somebody to CAF and he can’t get on the seat?
“If Nigeria must recommend somebody, it is high time we demanded that such person should be supported otherwise when it comes to spending, Nigeria should also sit back and let Cameroon, where Isa Hayatou comes from, do the hosting and spend those billions of dollars.
Ngerem urged Nigerians to throw their weight behind Galadima, pointing out that he did not nominate himself but was nominated by the Nigerian Football Association and endorsed by the federal government of this country.