The Ministry of Sports Development has described the Chairman of, the House Committee on Sports, Ekene Adams, as being ignorant for accusing the ministry of allocating funds for the renovation of Kaduna State-owned Ahmadu Bello Stadium.

Earlier in the week, the chairman of the Sports committee alleged that the Sports ministry made budgetary provisions for the maintenance of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium which is under the control of the Kaduna state government.

Adams also claimed that the Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh is not sincerely committed to the development of sports in Nigeria.

The lawmaker said, “For example, why should the minister still allocate a budget for the renovation and maintenance of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in the 2024 budget after the stadium had been handed over to the Kaduna State Government?

I think as the Chairman, of the House Committee on Sports, we have tried enough to have a smooth and good understanding with the minister but he is not being sincere with us.”

In reaction to the chairman’s claims, the sports ministry through its Director and Head, of the Press and Public Relations Unit, Kehinde Ajayi, said the allegation by the House of Representative member was “a clear demonstration of his ignorance of the state of affairs within the sports sector and how out of touch he is.”

Ajayi continues, “For the avoidance of doubt and to set the records straight, no budgetary provision was made for the renovation and maintenance of Ahmadu Bello Stadium in the 2024 appropriation.

“If such a provision was made, it would still constitute an indictment on the Committee on Sports he chairs, whose duty it is to scrutinise the budget before passage.

“Having acted in such an undignified and unparliamentary manner in the pursuit of his vendetta, we fear that this sad commentary has the consequence of bringing to public odium and ridicule, the image of the legislature as an institution. This is sad.”

Aside from alleging that the sports ministry budgeted for the renovation of a state-owned stadium, the lawmaker also accused the sports ministry of mismanaging the 12 billion naira Federal Government’s intervention fund.

In reaction to that, the sports ministry declared that the allegation was not true and insisted that the money was disbursed transparently.

The statement reads, “The allegation of opaqueness in the disbursement of the N12bn Federal Government’s intervention fund by the ministry is spurious and untrue.

“First it is difficult to understand which N12bn he is referring to. If it is close to N12bn that Mr President intervened for outstanding debts owed various male and female football national teams, the Honourable Member should have been aware that the Honourable Minister instituted a new accountability and transparency process to ensure prudence in the management of the fund.

“He should have known that, although the entire money was released to the Ministry of Sports account, at the Honourable Minister’s directive, the entire sum was fully transferred to the account of the Nigeria Football Federation, the appropriate body that incurred the outstanding debts, and this can be verified. Everyone in both the ministry and the sector acknowledged and applauded this move as an uncommon display of transparency.”

Following this statement, the House of Representative member is reportedly considering inviting the sports minister to the sports committee sitting for questioning.



Spread the love