Against all odds, skeptics and doubters, the Super Eagles of Nigeria surprised the African continent and the world at large by winning the most coveted golden prize at the AFCON 2013 competition after 19years. Indeed, they deserve to be appreciated for giving nigerians atleast one thing to be happy about especially at this crucial time when nothing seem to be working right in our polity. It has been highlighted severally that football as a sport is the only unifying factor amongst the nigerian people. And whenever there is a football match, Nigerians would usually put aside their socio-ethnic and religious differences to enjoy the game from start to finish, only to continue with their differences after the match is ended (how ironic).
The news about the Nigerian government splashing millions of naira as well as national honours on the Super Eagles team for winning the AFCON 2013 is actually not surprising, why? Because this is not the first time this is happening, however, this supposed show of gratitude is beginning to reflect negatively on the present administration as being squanders and frivolous spenders. We are not saying that the Super Eagles should not be celebrated or rewarded, but the question is "are we doing it the right way and for the right reasons?"
We must not forget that there are over 40million youths on the streets without job, even those who has got great ideas cannot start-up due to lack of capital and absence of basic social infrastructures which are not in place. It appears that the government of the day is very spontaneous when it comes to dashing out money to show-off while leaving pertinent issues to suffer without urgent attention. For instance, the plots of land dashed out to individual football players could have been given to hundreds of fresh graduates with great ideas for agro-farming business and other productive ventures which in later years would contribute to the nation's economic power and reduce the rate of unemployment.
As for the national honours, I don't know the criteria for which the government selects her recipients so I won't say much except to point out the fact that there are many remarkable nigerians who have done so much more for this country and are yet to receive such honour. Having expended more than is expected on the Super Eagles, Mr. President, further urged each of the 36 state governors to join in on the wasteful show by making sure they reward the team in each of state respectively. Fortunately or unfortunately, the Dangote Group, Globacom and Tom Tom has also joined the highest spender popularity contest.
Let me say it categorically to all our elected goverment officials, and perhaps to the privileged few who don't know where to invest their money, that entertainment and sport is not the only thing that the nigerian youth knows how to do best. We are creative people with fantastic revolutionary business and socio-developmental ideas geared towards putting Nigeria in the circle of developed nations. Entertainment and sports are good venture, but no matter how hard you try, it won't make our present challenges with poor power supply, bad road, poor educational standard, amongst other things disappear until we place the right people in the right positions to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. They should have it at the back of their minds that the Nigerian people, especially the hungry, the jobless, the unpaid pensioners, the homeless citizens are all watching!
Ebenezer O. Akinrinade
NEWS PAPER REPORT (online sources)
1. Gov. Fashola of Lagos State splashes N59 million on Super Eagles.
a. N500,000 for each goal scorers
b. N2.5 million to Coach Keshi
c. N2 million to Asst. Coach Daniel Amokachi
d. N1.5 million to Technical Crew & Captain
e. N1 million to 22 players each.
f. N4.5 million to Supporters Club
g. N15 million to backroom staff
2. President Jonathan splashes Cash, Lands & National Honors on Super Eagles:
a. Lands in Abuja for each players & officials of Super Eagles.
b. N10 million for Head Coach, Stephen Keshi
c. N5 million for Assistant Coaches & Players.
d. N2 million for Technical Crew
e. Commander of the Order of Niger (CON) to Stephen Keshi
f. Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) to Asst. Coaches & Captain
g. Member of the Order of Niger (MON) to Players & Technical Crew
Note: President Jonathan also urged governors to honour and reward the victorious national team in their respective states.
3. Aliko Dangote splashes N130 million on Super Eagles, says it's part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to encourage sport development.
4.Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State named Asaba Stadium after Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi.
a. N2.5 million to each player
b. N4 million to Asst. Coaches
c. N8 million to Head Coach
d. N2.5 millions to deltans & Warri Wolves Players in the team
e. N5 million for Warri Wolves FC
5. Mike Adenuga splashes $1 million on Super Eagles
a. $200,000 monthly salary for Coach Keshi
6. Tom Tom splashes $22,500 for Super Eagles
a. $10,000 to Victor Moses (Most Valuable Players)