Worrying Signs As NFF Shelves Reforms Committee Reports

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has declared that it would defer implementing any recommendations of the Reforms Committee and the Statutes Amendment Committee pending the signing into law of the 2019 NFF Bill.

The NFF’s stance was one of a number of resolutions reached at the 75th Annual General Assembly of the NFF Congress held in Benin City on Tuesday, 17 December.

The Reforms and Statutes Amendment Committees had been instituted earlier in the year with the mandate of forensically scrutinising the structure of football administration in the country and recommending various means of charting a new structure and course for football administration in Nigeria and bringing the NFF in line with global best practices.

Both committees have since fulfilled their mandate and submitted their recommendations to the Executive Committee of the NFF which presented the report for approval at the Congress on Tuesday.

While both reports were approved, the NFF Congress, however, “stepped down” adopting any recommendations contained in the respective reports “pending the assent of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to the NFF Bill, which has already been passed by both houses of the National Assembly”.

The NFF Congress noted in a communique issued at the end of the AGM that “the reports would then be harmonized with the new Bill” following the assent of the President.

The Congress’ position regarding both reports is bound to concern many interested parties and stakeholders who have long harboured suspicions that both committees were effectively elaborate red herrings designed to maintain the Status Quo.

Hitherto the extra obstacle placed in the way of adopting the recommendations of both committees, it was thought that after the committees had presented their report to the Executive Committee of the NFF, the next step would be to vote for its adoption at the Congress.

It appears that would tarry awhile with no timeframe revealed by the Presidency for when the NFF Bill passed by the immediate past National Assembly will be signed into law.

Other resolutions reached at the Congress included an endorsement of the Executive Committee’s proposal for a new 5-year contract for the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, which comes into effect from 1 January 2020 and a four-year contract (the first year being probationary) for the Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme.

The Congress also charged aggrieved stakeholders to always seek out amicable resolutions to disagreements rather than the infighting and mudslinging which it said has caused huge “reputational damage” to the Nigerian Football ecosystem.