Thursday, June 8, 2023
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American coaches leave over unpaid salaries

Festus Abu

American athletics coaches  Eric Campbell and  Angie Taylor  have   allegedly stormed out of  the country following the sports ministry’s  inability to pay  their   14 months’ salaries.

Campbell is   the Director of Athletics of the High Performance Centre in Port Harcourt, while Taylor is  the  director of the centre.

The coaches attached to the  Athletic Federation of Nigeria were  employed by former minister, Bolaji Abdulahi, in 2012 to help develop the country’s athletes.

Their contracts, which expired in 2015, were  renewed  when  Solomon Dalung  was appointed as sports minister.

Our correspondent learnt that Taylor was  expected to  receive $12,000 per month while Campbell receives $10,000 per month totalling $242,000.

The coaches were said to have gone through a lot of hardships following the failure of their employers to fulfil their  financial commitment due to the economic recession in the country.

Campbell and Taylor, who allegedly relied much on their embassy  for survival while hoping to be paid their salaries, decided to leave for their country with their salaries  not forthcoming.

The Media Adviser to the Minister Nneka Anibeze, who confirmed that the Americans are being owed by the ministry,  however could not confirm if Campbell and Taylor had returned to the United States.

“I saw Angie some time ago but I have not seen Eric,” Anibeze told our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday.

The Secretary-General  of the AFN Ameachi Akawo, who parried questions about the coaches’ unpaid salaries,  said  he had also not seen them since he was transferred to the federation.

“I have not seen them… I   don’t think they are in the country,” Akawo  told our correspondent on the telephone on Monday.

Meanwhile, some of the homegrown coaches also being owed 14 months’ salaries by the sports ministry are planning to petition the National Assembly over the development.

One of the coaches, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised  to talk to reporters about the move, said he and his colleagues have been living in penury and at the mercy of friends and relations to take care of their responsibilities.

“We have decided  to petition the National Assembly because it doesn’t look like the ministry will pay us,” the source  said.

“They keep telling us that there is no money available to the ministry to pay us.

“We are tired of their excuses – and we must take our fate into our own hands if we must get our money.”

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