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Athletes Tackle Nigerian University, OAU Management For Refusing To Pay NUGA Allowances One Year After

January 25, 2023

A member of the football team who wasn't paid his allowance at all said he devised other means of sustaining himself with financial assistance from friends and fellow teammates.

Students athletes of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, have kicked against the alleged failure by the institution to pay them their allowances for participating in the last Nigeria University Games.

The sporting event was held in March 2022 at the University of Lagos.

According to a campus medium, OAU KILONSHELE, ten months after the competition, most of the athletes are yet to receive their allowances.

It was however revealed that some athletes were partially paid N36,000 out of a total agreed sum of N60,000 allowance while others were yet to receive any sort of payment.
"We had an agreement, which was reached there in UNILAG that the school would pay each athlete N60,000. Through a little form of protest, we got an advanced payment of N36,000 which some athletes didn't get due to procedural error or omission.

“And that was the only thing we got from the school during NUGA, which we used in feeding ourselves for 2 weeks, buy toiletries, drugs and supplements to repair our muscles, to get canvas and soccer boots for ourselves during the competition. Can you now see how school management starved us?

“And we still maintained our focus, only for the school not to regard us at all, talkless of paying us our balance of N24,000. They lied it was delayed due to the industrial strike, but now the strike has been over since when?” Olawale Ogunruku from OAU handball team said.

Akinyemi Usman Olawale, the cricket team captain similarly shared his plight stating the university management failed to provide them with the required equipment for the gaming competition.

"Because of this NUGA, I still have an injury that I am battling with. I can't even play well again because of this injury. We just want the school to answer us, we worked for these.

“The jersey we used to play, we bought it with our money. Some of my players borrowed money to get their jerseys. The equipment we used in Lagos was given to us by our alumni. They borrowed us their kit bag. The school did not provide us with anything at all,” he said.

A member of the football team who wasn't paid his allowance at all said he devised other means of sustaining himself with financial assistance from friends and fellow teammates.

"At first, I was confident it was going to be paid and after a while, I felt indifferent about it. It's a sad thing though.

“There were times we had meetings with the Chairperson and athletes expressed their disappointments on the part of the school and how they didn't prioritize our welfarism.

“The medal table says it all. Even with the whole issue of welfarism of the athletes, the athletes still did their very best, sacrificing blood and sweat to come sixth which is the best placement we've had ever since the 2014 NUGA that was hosted here.

“After NUGA, many athletes borrowed money during the competition to take care of themselves, to even buy their sporting equipment just to compete for the school and that was how bad it was, many sacrificed their blood and sweat all to come back to school with debts that they thought will be settled after our prestigious school pays us the outstanding allowance that was promised."

Reacting, the Students' Union Director of Sports, Ayotunde Oluwanoni said he was working alongside the athletes' captains to meet with the university management after a letter issued through the Division of Students Affairs which is yet to be responded to.

"As it stands, we're currently working to meet with the Vice-Chancellor this coming week. We've sent a letter to the Dean of Students' Affairs to reach the Vice-Chancellor, but we're yet to get feedback."

The management's Director of Sports Council, Prof. Ime Johnson Ikpo, however stated that the allowances payment was still under consideration by the management.

"It's still under consideration by the university. The students primarily were promised additional money by the Vice-Chancellor then, that particular Vice-Chancellor left office less than two weeks or so. We are also trying to make the one that made the promise to compel the successor to do something. It's not only the students, it affects me too and all the staff.

“The good thing as I keep promising you is that, if they say they're not paying is a different thing, that's where we feel something is wrong somewhere but they have agreed they're going to pay. I can give you my word that the money will be paid,” he said.