By Ben Efe
The American coaches and their Nigerian counterparts attached to the elite sports programme funded by the Sports Ministry have threatened to sue, after they were paid two weeks salary out of the 11 months outstanding owed them.
The coaches Angie Taylor, Eric Campbell, Michael Afilaka and Gabriel Okon were expecting a substantial part of their outstanding salary to be paid before Christmas. But to their dismay only two weeks pay was transferred into their accounts on Tuesday January 3, 2017.
The coaches were contracted in 2012 by former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi to run an elite programme that will put Nigerian sports back to world reckoning. The contract was renewed by current Sports Minister Solomon Dalung last year, since then they have not been paid a dime. Their contracts will expire next month.
One of the coaches who spoke yesterday stated that life has been difficult.
“We were told that at least half of the 11 months would paid before Christmas and we did submit our bank accounts only for us to find out it was only two weeks out the 11 months.
“I want Nigerians to know that we are not crying out because of the money. We are insisting on getting paid because provision has been made for the settlement of our salary,” said Campbell.
“It is because of corruption that the ministry is withholding our money. It has nothing to do with recession, we do know that monies have been allocated to the sports ministry.
“I gathered from the people in the ministry that there is a whole lot of files to be attended to and ours was not a priority. We may be forced to take legal action to retrieve our dues if it is not settled before the contract expires.”