Coaches from the State of Osun have shown displeasure over the failure of the State Government to pay their allowances for the National Sports Festival, Edo 2020.
It was gathered that the officials of the State Sports Council were yet to receive the balance of their allowances as only three nights were being paid out of the seven nights spent.
Some of the contract coaches who craved anonymity, disclosed that the state Ministry of Youth and Sports, only paid them N6,000 per night for three days while the allowances for the remaining four days are yet to be paid.
The N6,000, was said to be for the accommodation and feeding of each of the coaches per day.
They threatened to boycott the parade of athletes which is part of the activities marking the closure of the sports festival and also stay put in Edo camp until their allowances are paid.
“The situation has been terrible ever since we came here. We barely eat three square meals. The state government has only paid our allowance for three nights. And we know that this is a ploy to rob us. We will not participate in the closing ceremony. Our athletes will not participate in the parade.
“We have already seized the keys to the vehicles that brought us to Edo and we will not allow any athletes to leave this camp until our allowances are paid.
We are hearing that the Commissioner of Sports wants to pay athletes their allowances and take them to Osun but we will resist that. Nobody will leave this camp until we the coaches are given our allowance.
“Even the N6,000 is little compared to the expenses we have incurred here but we won’t allow any athletes to go until they pay us our allowance. The state Governor through the Secretary to the State Government had told us while we were leaving for Edo that our allowances had been released. So, why are they hoarding our money?” One of the coaches queried.
The state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Yemi Lawal on Tuesday said the balance of their allowances would be paid once the Government releases it.
“You see, our people are used to the old ways. And what do I mean by the old ways? You see, they said they got two of three nights. How much did they get in figure and how much was released by the state government? The entire that was released was shared and I monitored it.
“What we ensured was that most of the athletes who don’t earn salaries from the state government, we must ensure that their own money is paid 100 percent. We must ensure that we do the necessary things, transportation, registration and all of that. After these, whatever is left should be given to the staff of the sports council who are the coaches.
“So, complaining now that they have not received 100 percent… You are salary earners now and you are committed to what you are doing and that’s why you are paid salaries. So, why not hold on, if we are able to secure fund from the government then you will be paid in arrears. We still have some money to collect from the state government, there is no doubt about that. I know how much efforts I put in place to ensure we got the one we got.
“Once the Government releases money, they will be paid. The athletes have got their full payment,” Lawal said.