By Asuelimen Osasuyi
A BIG QUESTION mark has
been raised on the utilization
of the 2016 appropriations
of the ministry of Youth and
Sports, with presidents of
sports federations calling for an
immediate probe of how over
N415 million budgeted to the
sports and released through the
ministry was used.
This comes to the fore as the
National Assembly begins
debate on the 2017 budget
estimates.
The whereabouts of about
N2 billion out of about 5 billion
appropriated for the ministry
became a subject of debate about
few months ago when the house
committee on Sports carried out
an appraisal of the 2016 budget.
Principal officers of the
ministry were said to be thrown
into confusion over what was
released to ministry. While a
bewildered Solomon Dalung,
minister of youth and Sports,
was said to have laboured to
explain before the lawmakers
what he knew, Christian Ohaa,
the then permanent secretary
of the ministry was said to be
caught a off-guard.
But rather than get to the root
of the issue, the administration
quickly redeployed Mr. Ohaa
in desperate move to sweep the
matter under carpet.
Now, some sports federations
who for the first time were given
direct budgetary allocations
by the National Assembly are
asking for investigation into the
use of the ministry’s budget in
2016.
Some of the sports federations
President who vowed to raise
the issue in the meeting between
the minister and federations
ahead of their forthcoming
election lamented that almost
all the federations received zero
allocation even though monies
were released to the ministry.
“Many of of us are now
indebted to banks, friends
and associates. Those who
managed to run any activity
had to borrow to do so . Sadly,
the money appropriated for
the sports federations were
received and diverted to other
uses. We would be asking for
explanation, we need to know
how these money were utilized,
“stated one the presidents.
Some of the big allottees in
the 2016 budget include Athletic
Federation -N315,00,000;
Basketball -N329,967,250;
Cycling -N180,000,000;
Volleyball /Beach Volleyball
N73,500,000, Weightlifting
and Wrestling eat N48,000,000,
Boxing and Table Tennis each
N36,000,000.
Effort to reach SA to the
Minister, Mrs Nneka Anibueze
failed as she failed to respond to
mails sent to her.

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