Nigeria’s Super Eagles may not have any cause to fight over money like the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and the Warriors of Zimbabwe have done at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which started last Friday in Egypt.
This is because President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the budget the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) submitted to him for the national team’s 2019 AFCON campaign.
They were fears last week that the squad could take drastic measures to get assurances that their bonuses and entitlements would be paid after it emerged that funds have not been made available by the Federal government.
Cameroon’s squad arrived in Egypt for the Africa Cup of Nations late on Saturday after delaying their departure over a pay dispute, risking possible sanction from CAF while players of Zimbabwe had to be prevailed upon to honour the opening game against Egypt after they boycotted training on Thursday.
However, it was gathered from a source at the Presidency that President Buhari has acted promptly on the request made by the NFF for funds by directing the Finance Ministry to source for the money and get back to him.
It was understood that the Ministry of Finance was able to source for the cash backing for the President’s approval last Friday and just needs to notify President Buhari about the source and the amount before seeking approval to pay immediately to the NFF.
The source expressed confidence that the process of making the AFCON cash available to the NFF should be completed anytime within this week.
“President Buhari does not joke with any issue that has to do with the national teams as long as such is brought to his notice. He had always approved anything to with the NFF without delay.
“In most instances, even it’s recommended for the budget to be slashed, he would overrule and approve the exact amount the NFF requested for. When there are issues, it’s not really the President’s fault, it’s because the request was not presented to him early enough and everybody knows why that happened”