The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has come under serious fire following its inability to account for $810,000 Football development grant from the world football governing body, Fédération Internationale de football (FIFA) for the development of the game in the country. The FiFA discovered the discrepancy following it’s audit of the NFF. The discovery was contained in the report on the 2015 review on the use of FIFA Development Funds. In the report of the review prepared by a globally reputed audit firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, FIFA said it detected that the sum of $801,229 was spent by the NFF without evidence supporting the disbursement.
Reviewing the report , FIFA said it observed “circumstances, which may indicate or lead to misuse of funds (defined as cases where the use of FIFA Development Funds could not be traced to supporting documentation or the use was not aligned with FIFA-prescribed purposes) or other non-compliance with FIFA regulations.” Tagged the Central Review Report, the findings were shared with Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary-General; Patricia Waldvogel, FIFA’s Head of Consolidation and Compliance; Kjetil Siem, acting Chief Member Association Officer; Fredric Guillemont, FIFA’s Deputy Head of Development Programmes; Mr. Muhammed Sanusi, General Secretary, NFF; Mr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, Deputy General Secretary, NFF; Christopher Anderkin, NFF’s Deputy Director (Finance and Administration); David Mason, FIFA Senior Relationship Manager; and Richard Thomas, Engagement Leader, PwC.
The period of the audit span from August 16 to 18, 2015, to date.In reviewing the dedicated account, nine cases totaling $801, 929 were identified where there was no supporting documentation to substantiate the subsequent disbursements (i.e., the disbursements made by the NFF employee, if any),” the report stated. The global body said it observed opacity in fund usage, as the NFF management was unable to show that there was no fraud in the transactions conducted.
FIFA warned that if the NFF could not provide adequate supporting documentation for the disbursements, it should make refund on sums unaccounted for. It expressed displeasure with the unrestrained practice of cash payments, which it said should have been greatly minimized.
NFF’s response to the audit mishaps, signed by its Deputy General Secretary, Mr. Ikpeme, and obtained by SaharaReporters, was replete with admissions of errors, alleged oversight, and hazy explanations.
According to Mr. Ikpeme, the problem associated with payment for planning and administration was caused by the exchange rate.
“As at the time of making the payment, the exchange rate at the parallel market crashed alarmingly. That accounts for the difference in the sum reported, but all supporting documents are attached to the voucher,” he wrote.