Ministry, AFN owe American athletics coaches N74m

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Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Solomon Dalung

Idris Adesina

The  National-Director of the High Performance Centre in Port Harcourt, Angie Taylor, and the Director of athletics of the HPC, Eric Campbell,  have not been paid for  11 months, our correspondent has learnt.

The two American athletics coaches, who are attached to the  Athletic Federation of Nigeria, were  employed by former Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi, in 2012 to oversee the country’s grassroots athletes and ensure an increase in the performance of the country’s athletics ranking. Campbell and Taylor reside in Abuja.

The  defunct National Sports Commission decided not to renew their contracts after they  expired last year.  However, the current  sports minister, Solomon Dalung, renewed the contracts in January for another two years.

Our correspondent learnt that in the renewal of their contracts, Taylor was expected to  receive $12,000 per month  while Campbell receives $10,000 per month totalling $242,000.

Each coach is  also entitled  a driver, a cook and a security guard,  who are  paid by the sports ministry.

Our correspondent learnt that since the Americans’ contracts were renewed, they had yet to get a dime either from the AFN or the ministry.

“The Americans – Taylor and Campbell – are  being owed up to 11 months’  salaries  each  and they haven’t complained,” the source said.

“Their  salaries  have not been coming since their contracts were renewed in January. Even though they (coaches)  go to work in Abuja, they have been doing all they do with their personal funds. The minister often calls once in a while to apologise to them, saying they would be paid.”

The source added, “The domestic staff of the Americans are even threatening to down tools  because they have not been paid  but they (coaches)  have been pleading with them not to do so because of the economic situation in the country.”

Efforts to reach the AFN President Solomon Ogba for his comments was not successful as he had yet to respond to a text message sent to his mobile phone as of press time.

However, spokesman for the AFN, Olukayode Thomas, said the federation was not responsible for the salaries of the expatriates.

“Taylor, Campbell, Gabriel Okon and other staff of the High Performance Centre are not staff of the AFN. They are working with us but are under the sports ministry,” Thomas told our correspondent  on the telephone on Sunday.

“They were employed by the National Sports Commission and now that the commission is no more, they are under the sports ministry. Their salaries come from them. So the response to their being owed or not would be from the sports minister.”

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