Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has promised to pay the outstanding 2014/15 sign-on fees owed players of Rivers United and Rivers Angels.
This follows a protest by the players of both clubs on Tuesday at the Government House in Port Harcourt, where they carried placards and barricaded the entrance to the Government House to demand their financial entitlements.
After a brief meeting with the Governor, Rivers United captain Festus Austin told www.busybuddiesng.com that Governor Wike has promised to clear the debt.
“I just want to thank His Excellency (Nyesom Wike), he has really shown that he is father to all,” the defender said.
“He (Governor Wike) came outside and saw everybody, and told us that we should go, that they are going to pay us. I am very happy about it.”
With no time frame for the payment of the sign-on fees, Austin expressed optimism that the Governor will deliver on his promise to pay the players.
“Before now, I already believe in his words, and he (the Governor) believes in action,” the Rivers United skipper said.
“Hitherto, my fear and that of the players was that the Governor has released the money to the Commissioner for sport (Boma Iyaye) who withheld the money. But I thank God that it has been cleared that His Excellency has only approved but has not released the money.
“But, with his words, I believe in him. Few days from now, we are going to be paid.’’
In January, 2014, the League Management Company (LMC) abolished payment of sign-on fees to players in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), ordering clubs to replace it with enhanced salaries.