By Patrick Omorodion
The allegation by Youth and Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung that the former Director General of the defunct National Sports Commission, NSC, Mallam  Al-Hassan Yakmut never briefed him about the N2.9 billion approved by President Muhammad Buhari for the 2015 All Africa Games in Congo as well as preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics, has been described as false by a top staff of the ministry.

Yakmut
Yakmut

A top shot of the Sports Ministry who pleaded anonymity said the Minister was not fair to Yakmut on the issue as the money which was approved as “Special Intervention fund for the All Africa Games and Olympic qualifiers” was judiciously spent for the purposes it was meant for and the minister was told about the balance which was put at about N654 million.

“From the N2.97 billion, about N2.1 billion was used for Nigeria’s participation at last year’s All Africa Games in Congo. This was before the minister was appointed. Some Federations got money for their qualifiers too.

If the minister says Yakmut never told him about the money, from which source did he direct  the NSC to release over N200 million as loan to the NFF to prosecute the African Nations Championship, CHAN and the African U-23 Championship in Senegal?,” the source queried.

Not done yet, our source also said that “Since the minister said Yakmut never briefed him on the money, and that he had to source money from else where to pay for accommodation for Nigerian athletes in Brazil, he should tell Nigerians from where he sourced the money.”

The sports ministry staff said that the Minister, apart from going to Brazil, has embarked on several other trips on behalf of the ministry and wondered how the trips were funded if he truly never inherited any fund when he assumed office and if Yakmut never briefed him there was some money left from the “Intervention Fund” approved by President Buhari.

Meanwhile our source disclosed that most staff of the sports ministry are not happy that since the minister came, the peace they have enjoyed in sports is no longer there as his actions have stoked crisis especially in football.

“Before he assumed office, there was peace in sports but now it is one crisis after another. First it was in Taekwondo and that caused the country qualification for the Olympic Games. It moved to football, he is now setting up a committee to find a solution which he couldn’t find himself.

Now we hear he is hobnobbing with a body the NBBF and FIBA declared illegal and asked not to run an illegal basketball league in the country,”he stressed.

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