Nigeria: settling debts

Nigeria: We’re Not Going for Jamboree in Commonwealth Games - Ogba
Ben Efe
26 March 2010

Athletics Federation of Nigeria boss, Solomon Ogba disclosed at the weekend that professional standards would be used to select athletes and officials who will represent Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.
Ogba was speaking against the back ground of threats by some US-based athletes to stay away from the national team if outstanding debts owed them are not paid by the AFN. The AFN president denied that there was such situation on the ground, rather the federation is thinking about taking only medal potentials to the games.
"We are going to apply strict standards to selecting our athletes. It is not going to be a jamboree like we have in the past.
"Any athlete who fails to meet world standards in their events will not make the team. We have made this clear to the athletes and it is left for them to train hard and achieve the set standards,"Ogba said.
He argued that debt being owed the athletes does not stem from their participation at international events, rather it was from the Abuja grand prix.
"At the Berlin 2009 World Championships we paid all their allowances.
"The only debt we are owing the athletes is from the Abuja grand prix. This because we did not have sufficient funds at our disposal during that meet. As soon as there is money, all the outstanding of the athletes will be settled.
“Besides I’m not aware that any of the top athletes have written to the federation about their intention to run for Nigeria. Some them could not make it to the World Indoor because they have NCAA engagements.”

Not very reassuring to Nigerian athletes who know they are owed money for trip tickets long before Berlin! Now he denies owing anybody anything on that count!

Indeed, that’s the only thing left to the athletes, train hard and compete and don’t hope to get the allowances back.
Ogba could argue though that he was recently appointed and is not responsible for what has been done (or not done on that matter) in the past. The problem is not only about Abuja GP, but talking about this one, why run a meet if you don’t have the sufficient funds?
Regarding the selection for Commonwealth Games. Only athletes with world standards. How many athletes that is currently in Nigeria? 1 or 2? Is that enough to send a team and its bunch of officials?

ANY meet is reason enough to send officials - as far as the officials are concerned!!
As for the claim that the Abuja GP is the only place where they owe athletes money- that’s just plain bullshit.

Yeah, and any meet is reason for money moves - not always in the supposed direction.

Nigeria: Show Your Stuff Or Get Out, Ogba Warns Athletes

Duro Ikhazuagbe

25 March 2010

Lagos — The Kaduna leg of the newly introduced AFN Golden League begins today at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium with stern warning that any athlete in national camp preparing for the African Championships and the Commonwealth Games that performs below expectation risks been decamped. Speaking in Lagos yesterday, President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Chief Solomon Ogba said that the league was introduced as a way to keep Nigerian athletes busy all through the season.

“And so, any of our athlete in camp preparing for both the African Championships and the Commonwealth Games who allows upstarts to beat them risks loosing their place in the team,” warns the AFN president.

He also said it was part of his board’s plan to stop Nigerian athletes from roaming Europe, running in Meets that are offering prizes as cheap as 200 Euros. “Once we get the Golden league off the ground, sponsors will come and want to identify with us,” stressed the former Delta State sports commissioner.

For any athlete to walk away with the N1million cheque, he or she must have won five of the six Golden League events.

Apart from been affiliated to a club, state or military or paramilitary body, such an athlete must also have passed in and out of competition dope tests.

Technical Director of the AFN Sunday Bada yesterday listed events to compete in at the Golden League to include (Men): 100m, 400m, 800m, 400mhurdles, Triple Jump, High Jump, 4x100m and 4x400m.

The women are to compete in 100m, 200m, 400m, 1500m, 5000m, 400m hurdles, Long Jump, 4x100m and 4x400m.

“For the League starting this weekend in Kaduna, we have prize money of N20, 000, N15, 000 and N10, 000 at stake for the first to third position respectively in all the events to be competed for. The jackpot prize of N1million is to be determined at the end of the League whether to be shared by all the athletes who met the criteria set for winning or a single candidate that excelled in his or her event,” stressed the former 400m champion.

After Kaduna this weekend, the League moves to Ilaro in Ogun State where Gov Gbenga Daniel is bankrolling the event. Lagos will take turn to host competing athletes and officials in the third leg at the University of Lagos Sports Complex while Makurdi and Owerri share the glory of the fourth and fifth leg. Oil city of Warri will host the final leg with fanfair where winner (s) of the jackpot will be presented his or prize money.


Wow good news, in 2009 there was no sufficient founds for Abuja meet, but in 2010 there is finally money available for an ersatz of IAAF Golden League in Nigeria soil. I guess there is now enough money to refund all the athletes from the past years.

Now the funny part : they say nigerians should stop competing for 200 euro in Europe, because now the prize money in the Nigerian Golden League is 20,000, 15,000 and 10,000 naira for 1st to 3rd places (= that is 100, 75 and 50 euro, respectively). Even if the taxes are high in Europe, as for today, Nigerians should better compete in Europe, at least they will have some guaranties to get paid.

The real good news is that in one year there will be as much meetings in Nigeria as it has been in the whole past decade.

It pains me to say but after the murderous inter-tribal riots in Kenya, the lying and thieving in Sth Africa especially (read Semenya and Chuene et al), the bumbling leadership (Diack of Senegal), and just the downright brutality of behaviour by administrators in Nigeria then Africa remains The Dark Continent where ignorance and incompetence are worn like badges of honour by those who hold the reins of power. These people disgust me.

Well summed up

Waiting for team selection for the CWG, what were the selection criteria for Doha, anyone knows?

IAAF standard, not so much a trouble to pick people for world indoors as only a few athletes are competing indoors and those are well known. However this time they call a guy to tell him he was selected then changed their mind within a few days. Irritating…

A member of the team (you know who) told me that he was not included initially despite his better time. Hence, my question. He also told me they arrived in Doha the day before their race, which explains at least in part the slow times in the heats. Perhaps you know/saw more. Anyway…

Most the the guys ran sloz in the heats, mainly because the track is not so good for times and the silent gun led to many bad starts. It was better in the next rounds. Arriving the day before is the usual thing with Nigeria, and his results in Doha were in line with what he did in the recent meets anyway, i mean i wasnt expecting any better time for him for those champs, although i dont know exactly what he did at training

I see, I didn’t know about the track! Re: his training, the only issue I can think is how many days before he was informed he’ll travel and how this changed his plans. Anyway, I absolutely agree that except the heat, the rest were in line with his indoor season. Even so, it was a good experience! :cool: