Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, says he has approved the release of funds to refund the amount wrongly credited to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) in 2017.
Recall that there was controversy early in the year when IAAF threatened to ban Nigeria for refusing to refund the sum of $130,000 which it claimed it wrongly credited to Nigeria in 2017 during the release of grants. But then Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, refused to approve the refund, saying IAAF should blame itself for being “disorganized” and stop embarrasing Nigeria.
He had said in May 2019: “I think Nigeria has been unfairly treated because the issue has been painted and promoted as if there was any wrongdoing on the side of Nigeria, certainly not. Grants were released to Nigeria on the 17th of May, 2017 and on the 19th of May, IAAF confirmed the transaction. Just for IAAF after two months to turn round and cry foul that there is a mistake. I mean a transaction that was done and confirmed suddenly turned mistake. I smell a rat in the whole thing and I believe that the whole thing is being orchestrated just to blackmail Nigeria.
“When did they realise they made mistake after the transaction was confirmed. I made a mistake in transferring money, I realised in ten minutes and I call my bank to retrieve the money. Why did it take IAAF two months to realise the mistake, an international organisation, highly reputable.
But Dare in a tweet on Wednesday evening said the money is being refunded for Nigeria to regain its reputation.
“IAAF- I have approved the release of funds to refund the IAAF overpayment wrongly credited to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria. In a few days from now the funds should hit the account of the IAAF baring any interbank delays. With this Nigeria’s reputation is regained,” he tweeted.