By Niyi Busari
The former Second Vice-president of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Victor Baribote has challenged the federation to pay the beneficiaries of the FIFA Covid-19 Relief Funds in the same currency they received from the donors, BSNSports.com.ng report.
The Nigeria Football Federation last week announced the sharing formula of the Two Million Dollars ($2 million) gotten from FIFA, CAF and sponsors to the beneficiaries. The funds according to FIFA and CAF is given as a result of economic downturn that affect football clubs and players following the hardship brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic. The NFF president, Amaju Pinnick had insisted that the money received in dollars will be converted into naira before sharing to the proposed recipients
Baribote accused the NFF of misleading Nigerians hiding under legal tender to make profits from the exchange rates. He explained that the official rate of dollar in Central Bank of Nigeria is Three hundred and eighty-six naira (N386). Meanwhile, it is Four hundred and sixty-eight naira (N468) in the black market. According to him, the different in the exchange rates in the two markets will be syphoned into individuals’ pocket.
In an exclusive interview with BSN Sports, Baribote said: “If FIFA pays the NFF in dollars, they must pay all the concerned stakeholders in dollars not naira. Why do they want to pay in naira? If it’s dollars give the clubs in dollars. This is a way to syphon money.
“They should allow the CBN pays the beneficiaries in dollars, they will go and change it in the black market and pay the clubs in CBN rate. We are in a cashless society, CBN should credit the clubs directly as they want to claim transparency.
“They (NFF) are just looking for ways to make money, submit names of the beneficiaries to CBN and they should credit everyone at once.
“Almost every clubs has domiciliary account, pay the into their domiciliary account, it’s not for the NFF to tell them how they want the money.
“If they paid in dollars to NFF they should also release it in the same currency pay and allow them to wherever they want.”
Amaju Pinnick on a national TV said that the federation is still expecting One million dollars from FIFA and admitted that the sum of Five Hundred thousand dollars has been received from the world football governing body since January.
The proprietor of Nembe City FC also challenged the NFF to tell Nigerians how much interest has been generated on the $500,000 the federation had received from FIFA since January 2020.
“If they have been paid $500,000 since January, they should also account for the interest that has accrued to the money. How much is the interest the money has generated from January till now? He asked.