Sport and Governance
‘ODSG not responsible for athletes’ allowance delay’
Managerial laxity is responsible for the delay in the payment of the allowances of the Ondo State athletes , Commissioner for Youths Development and Sports, Mr Saka Yusuf Ogunleye has said.
Ogunleye who stated this while responding to the state athletes who assembled at the State Sports Complex Akure, demanding for the payment of their allowances, said :”the fault was not on the part of the government, rather it was caused by their management who failed to present the file for approval”.
He pointed out that the current government is not aware that the athletes were owed by the last administration.
According to him, “We are not omnipotent that are every where , we can only act on what is brought to our table. There is no letter before me or the Governor to the effect that this government is owing them such amount of money.
“When we came on board the file brought before me that we are owing athletes was presented to the Governor and he graciously approved the payment for almost ten months, he also paid another tranches from that time till May last year.
“The Governor also gave approval for May to December 2018 allowance, since it is stipends we don’t pay them monthly”, Ogunleye said.
He added that “they got approval in December to pay another tranches , but before we can get the money there are some administrative processes to follow , from finance ministry getting warrant of release , to accountant general and all that , that is why it was delayed.
“The eight months they were requesting for was owed by the immediate past administration, which was never presented to us.
“We all know that government is a continuum, at least ,the Government of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akerodolu has paid six months arrears owed the civil servants in the state by the past administration , so how could a government that paid such arrears, now find it hard to pay the athletes that has done the state proud in national and international events.
“It has just been brought to my attention that they were being owed eight months by the past administration, I called for the file and what was on the file was addressed to the former Governor .
“Now that I have seen the file, I have asked the General Manager to write to that effect , I will take it to the Governor for approval for payment”, he stated.
He assured the athletes that the other one that had been approved will be paid immediately the cash is released.
“This issue on ground is just an in house affair and it’s not new in a Sports arena”.
Meanwhile, the athletes had gathered at the entrance of the State Sports Complex in a peaceful protest requesting that their 16 months allowances be paid.