The Nigeria Football Federation on Friday said it was not averse to the planned audit of its books, while also providing details of the programs and activities on which the much-talked-about $801,929 part of a FIFA grant was spent.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick recalled that at the inception of the Board, the concern for fiscal discipline necessitated its decision to bring in PriceWaterhouseCoopers as its external auditors and Financial Derivatives as financial consultants.

“These are global –renowned firms with a reputation to protect, and we did not hesitate to bring them on board with us. We can also say with every sense of sincerity that they have each been doing a great job.

“In as much as this is supposed to be a confidential matter, as it is not a forensic examination as being touted, we feel a sense of responsibility to provide further details on the programs on which the money was spent. Some persons are already claiming NFF embezzled money; it is unfortunate.

“I don’t think we will find people who will come forward and tell us that Nigeria did not play friendly matches against DR Congo and Cameroon in Belgium in October 2015, or that the Super Eagles did not play Burkina Faso in CHAN qualifying matches in the same month, or that the Eagles did not play Swaziland home and away in a preliminary round (November 2015) before qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup group phase.

“We are not averse to the planned audit of our accounts; what we do not welcome is the litany of distractions and dark innuendoes that the whole matter is generating, and its implications for our preparations for the final phase of qualifying for 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.”

Pinnick said the NFF is blameless for the use of form T-10 {which is acceptable in government transactions) and the issue of cash transactions.

“These issues are coming up because of new reforms and new management procedures being adopted by FIFA. The form T-10 was the practice all the way before this Board came into office. And getting some of our players to open bank accounts for online payments has not been easy.

“Of course, we have taken all the lessons and advice from this report to heart, and we have now modified our payment structure.”

Programs on which the money was spent

International Friendly Matches (Nigeria Vs Cameroon & Congo in Belgium)

CHAN Qualifier (Burkina Faso Vs Nigeria)

Processing of Visa for U17 in Ghana

Computer Appreciation Course

Outstanding Hotel Bills to Serob Legacy Hotel

Camping And Scouting of U17 Players

Additional for Tanzania Vs Nigeria AFCON Qualifier

In its response on the issue, FIFA made it clear it was a matter between it and NFF and it would be resolved in the shortest possible time.

FIFA is fully committed to supporting the member associations as we continue to improve our processes and structures.

In light of this, FIFA recently introduced new requirements for the management and administration of development funds allocated to its member associations.

In cases of insufficient information as to the management of those funds, FIFA may suspend the ordinary flow of such funds until a full understanding of the situation is achieved.

FIFA continues to work and cooperate with the respective member in order to obtain the required information and, if needed, install the appropriate procedures and controls for such development funds.

FIFA are confident that by working together with the Nigeria Football Federation, the issues will be resolved.

On Thursday, NFF 2nd Vice President Shehu Dikko broke down the issues in an interview, captured below:

Separate FIFA accounts from NFF general accounts (TSA) as FIFA wanted a dedicated account for their monies, for proper monitoring.

This is a fundamental condition for receiving future funds, and indeed NFF complied within one month, working with Central Bank of Nigeria to open sub-TSA account for only FIFA monies.

Details of the sub-TSA account have been forwarded to FIFA.

FIFA wanted NFF, in the future, to ensure that when reporting FIFA money expenditure, it reports both the budgets for the projects/activities and final expenditure, and any differential above 20% must be explained on a separate FIFA form.

FIFA wants any individual expenditure above the sum of $5,000 (Five Thousand American Dollars) to be reported in a separate FIFA form as required by FIFA process.

FIFA wanted NFF to ensure proper audit of bank charges and reporting on separate FIFA forms to ensure the banks did not overcharge NFF and/or is not used to misapply funds.

In fact, FIFA went through the bank statements and cited all bank charges for FIFA monies, which was very difficult as the account contains funds other than FIFA’s, and the figures NFF reported and those of FIFA only had a marginal difference of a few hundred dollars.

Fundamentally, FIFA warned against cash transactions and advised that these be reduced to the barest minimum or avoided completely.

FIFA advised that even players and officials’ allowances should be paid into their bank accounts. NFF has been trying to implement this, as seen in the mode of payment for the players and officials of the Super Falcons after their AWCON triumph.

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