The Senate yesterday heaped plaudits on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for utilising the money appropriated to it to bring countless laurels to Nigeria in year 2013.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports and Social Development, Senator Adamu Ibrahim Gumba, extolled the managerial virtues of the NFF leadership, saying that despite not having enough money to play around with, the Aminu Maigari-led NFF scratched the bottom of the barrel to prepare Nigerian teams adequately for international competitions and bring glory to the nation. The NFF received the sum of N1.8 billion from the Government last year.
“I must commend the leadership of the NFF. Our National Teams won so many laurels from international championships last year and even Mr. President (His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR) was so elated each time that he hosted the teams and rewarded them for doing the country proud,” Senator Gumba remarked, when NFF officials led by General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, appeared before the committee to present its 2013 budget performance and defend its 2014 budget proposal.
Gumba continued: “We won the Africa Cup of Nations, won the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the Super Eagles qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“We also won trophies from international friendly matches against Catalonia and South Africa, and our U-17 and U-20 women teams qualified for the FIFA U-17 and FIFA U-20 Women World Cup competitions taking place this year.
Let us also not forget that our country represented Africa at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
“This committee is very happy with the performance of the NFF in the year 2013 and we charge them to maintain same tempo, or even do better, in this year 2014.
Speaking at the budget defence session, NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, lauded the excellent co-operation the NFF has enjoyed with the Senate Committee led by Senator Gumba, and also praised the support and assistance of the National Sports Commission and some State Governments, especially Cross River State Government, for Nigeria National Teams.
“We played all our home matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying series in Calabar, thanks to the Cross River State Government, with Governor Liyel Imoke spearheading the support and show of love for our team.
The NFF is also very grateful to Governor Imoke and his Government for adopting the U-17 National Team and giving all the support for the team to win the silver medal at the African U-17 Championship in Morocco and then go on to lift a record fourth FIFA U-17 World Cup title in the United Arab Emirates.”
At the presentation, to which the NFF was led by the Hon. Minister of Sports and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Dr. Tamuno Danagogo, with the Director General of NSC, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, Amadu explained that the NFF would require the sum of slightly over N2 billion to prosecute the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil and the sum of N3.9 billion for other competitions, events, overhead, capital and personnel matters this year.