From ROMANUS UGWU, Abuja
Less than six months after the London 2012 Olympic Games, a document has revealed how Nigeria blew about N1. 9 billion on estacode for government officials, athletes and others in the two-week games. The document, which extensively exposed the financial transactions of the National Sports Commission (NSC) during the Games, revealed that a whopping sum of N704.235 million was spent on allowances for athletes, estacode for the officials, visa fees, flight tickets and grants to foreign based athletes, among other things.
Further breakdown of the expenses revealed that $638, 550 (about N1.008 billion) was expended on estacode allowances for 65 commission officials, Federal Government delegates, personal aides to the Minister of Sports and chairman National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.
According to the documents, the ministry revealed that they paid $750, 800 (N118.626 million) as the allowances for athletes and team officials in addition to other unspecified bonuses, adding that it gave grants to the foreign-based athletes to the tune of $670,000 (about N105.860 million).
In fact, the biggest revelation was what the sports ministry called the post-competition, which it claimed it spent a total sum of N18.755 million on transport fare for athletes/officials to respective states at N100, 000 for 199 persons, transportation of competition equipment back to base, back to base reception/award ceremony, accommodation/feeding for three nights at N150, 000 for 199 persons and production of report. While the sports commission spent N1.99 million on transport fare for athletes/officials to respective states at N100, 000 for 199 persons,
N1.8 million went on transportation of competition equipment back to base, just as what it described as back-to-base reception/award ceremony for team Nigeria that failed woefully took N4.510 million. Accommodation/feeding for three nights at N150, 000 for 199 persons and production of report gulped a cumulative total sum of N9.105 million.
The document further revealed that a total amount of N50.756 million was spent on the procurement of visa and flight tickets for the ministry staff, government delegation, personal aides to the sports minister and other officials, adding that the press conferences by the minister and Chef de Mission, in addition to the renting of venue and provision of media gift bags etc took $25, 000 (about N3.95 million). On how the officials shared the estacode allowances, the sports commission specified that it spent a staggering sum of $133, 875 (about N21.152 million) as estacode for 15 of its staff, adding that its unidentified 15 guests smiled to the back with the sum of $120, 015 (about N18.962 million) after allegedly spending 21 days in London for the games.
In fact, the Federal Government delegation, numbering 10, got a chunk of the estacode allowances, as the sports commission claimed that they collectively collected a total sum of $126,000 (about N199.080 million) on a daily allowance of $381 each for the 21 days they spent in London. There was more revelations, as the ministry disclosed, that four personal aides to the minister got the sum of $35, 700 (about N5.640 million) with a daily allowance of $425 each for the 21 days spent in London.
Other officials that benefited from the estacode bonanza, according to the document, include the Chef de Mission and his deputy, who collected $12, 600 (about N1.990 million) and $9, 450 (about N1.493 million) on a daily allowance of $600 (about N94, 800) and $400 (about N63, 200) respectively for the 21 days they equally spent in London. The advance party and the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC), numbering eight, that spent 30 days, got a cumulative estacode allowances of the sum totaling $102, 000 (about N16.116 million) at the rate of a daily allowance of $425,000 each.
The sports minister was not left out, as he collected a total sum of $18, 900 (about N2.986 million) on a daily allowance of $900 (about N142, 200) for the 21 days spent in London for the Games.