Abuja High Performance Centre: Coaches set for strike over non-payment of salaries

By By Victor Enyinnaya on September 2, 2017

As the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) continues to turn blind eyes to the former Sports Minister and now All Progressive Congress (APC), National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, over the N3 billion released to him by the last administration for the development of High Performance Centre in Abuja, Daily Sports can now reveal that some of the home-grown coaches he employed at the facility are set to down tools over non-payment of their salaries for 14 months.

It was gathered that the Coaches are also planning to petition the National Assembly over their plight.

Some of the Coaches that pleaded for anonymity for fear of being hunted, accused Abdullahi of having preference  for foreign coaches who incidentally were not more qualified than most of their local counterparts that he relegated to the background for personal considerations.

They asked the APC Spokesman to also tell the nation where the billions of naira released for the development of the project went to, demanding that such colossal amount of money be fully accounted for as there is currently nothing to show for it being spent on the project.

“We knew why he went for the two less qualified Americans and now that the bubble has burst and the expatriates were forced to leave the country due to long months of non-payment of salaries running into millions of naira, those responsible must be brought to book.“

The financial improprieties that beleaguered the High Performance Centre (HPC) started from day one of the project which was shrouded in secrecy by Abdullahi. He hurriedly began the project without consulting the experts until he was sacked.

 “The foreign hands he employed against all odds and placed on unprecedented salaries and mouth-watering allowances never had any work to do in Abuja and also failed to go to Port Harcourt, where there is High Performance Centre facility.“

If this government still has some credibility left, the best thing to do would be for the EFCC to invite Bolaji Abdullahi to answer questions on how he spent the walloping N3 billion meant for the development of the project,” Daily Sports was informed.

One of the aggrieved coaches, who after the group’s statement further spoke to our correspondent still on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to Journalists about the move, insisted that he and his colleagues have been living in destitution and at the mercy of friends and relations to take care of their needs.

He said, “Let me restate clearly that we have now resolved to petition the National Assembly because it doesn’t look like the Ministry of Sports will pay us. This is how Nigeria is being run. We have never had it so bad. The last administration in which Abdullahi served never owed us.“

Apart from the monumental misuse of the N3 billion High Performance Centre fund under the supervision of Kwara State born ex-Sports Minister and how he connived with few others who are still in the Ministry to hire misfit foreign coaches and paid them heavily coaches were not having it so rough as being witnessed today.

”It would be recalled that many bigwigs in sports administration in the country including the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung have cried out on how the former Sports Minister, misappropriated the huge sum of money earmarked for the building of High Performance Centre in Abuja which was to be fitted with first rate sports equipment to aid elite athletes in preparation for major international sports meets.

•Photo shows former sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.

Source Daily Sports

Posted September 2, 2017


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