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Kwara denies owing special Athletes


Athletes competing at the last NUGA Games

Athletes competing at the last NUGA Games

The Kwara State Government at the weekend denied the claims by some special athletes that it owes them 15 months salaries.

The athletes on Wednesday stage a protest in Ilorin alleging that the state owed them 15 months salary arrears. But the State’s Director of Sports (DOS), Tunde Kazeem, dismissed the claims, saying the athletes could not be owed arrears as they were not civil servants.

Kazeem said the six special athletes among the protesters, whom he claimed were paid on Thursday were the ones the sports council placed on a monthly stipend, explaining that the allowances were not coming in recent times because of the state government’s efforts to rid its system of ghost workers.

“After paying our salaries from the subvention given to us, we placed some people on stipends. The Special athletes are not the only ones on the stipends list, we have coaches, groundsmen, security and others too.

“We took the decision to pay them the stipends because they are representing our state and they don’t have jobs.

“We absorbed six of them then just to assist them,” Kazeem said.

The Director Sports added that the athletes on the stipends list were impatient hence their protest on Wednesday.

“Yes, we paid civil servants on Tuesday so they thought their own won’t come, that was why they protested on Wednesday.

“If they had informed me of their plans, I would have informed them of the council’s plan to pay them before the protest yesterday,” Kazeem said.

Kazeem added that their 50 percent claims of Eko 2012 was a gift from state government to the athletes, adding that the state government has paid N2.5m out of the N5m cash gift promised the athletes by the state government.

He said all their allowances and bonuses for the festival in Lagos were paid to them after the games and urged the athletes to always explore civil channels to air their grievances.

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