A fresh crisis is brewing within the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), as the board has resolved to look into the Federation’s finances, income, and expenditures from the start of 2023.
This was one of the resolutions reached at its executive board meeting, held virtually on Saturday, September 16, 2023, and presided over by its first vice president, Tafida Gadzama.
This will be the first time in over two decades that the executive board of the federation will probe its own activities to ensure transparency and accountability.
The board appointed a five-member committee led by the first vice president, Tafida Gadzama, to look into the books of the federation since the start of this administration, viz., its income and expenditure, and report their findings to the board.
Other members of the committee are Mrs. Maria Worphil, Mr. Victor Okorie, Mr. Samuel Onikeku, and Mr. Dare Esan.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the board also mandated its road race committee to come up with a road running manual to assist road race organizers in getting started or to help produce quality events of an international standard and define the criteria that must be met in organizing a road running event in Nigeria. This is in view of the unsavoury reports in the media of athletes not getting paid by road race organizers in Nigeria.
The board also, among other things, announced its plan to organize three U13 athletic competitions in three centres across the country.
World Athletics will provide funding for the competition through its grant for growth under 13 national athletics competition projects. The three centres are Abuja, Kaduna, and Port Harcourt/Enugu.
In other decisions reached at the meeting, the AFN board resolved to draw up a safeguarding policy in compliance with World Athletics’ demand.
The safeguarding policy sets expectations as well as defines the specific roles and responsibilities of the federation in protecting athletes, especially to give confidence and trust to the Nigerian athletes that there are structures and processes in place to report safeguarding abuse.
The board also deliberated on the performance of Team Nigeria at the 19th World Athletics Championships held in Budapest, Hungary, between August 19 and 27, 2023, and resolved that future participation of athletes in the championships and indeed other international competitions will not be limited to just securing the entry standard set by World Athletics and, as the case may be, the AFN, but also other factors that the technical committee has been mandated to come up with and present to the board for approval.