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Lawal explains why PGA Nigeria cannot toe Sunshine Tour’s lines

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Samson Lawal, the Director of Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of Nigeria has categorically stated that the association is not buoyant enough to give out palliatives to its members amid the Coronavirus pandemic codenamed Covid-19.

South Africa’s Sunshine Tour, as part of its efforts to cushion to effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on its players, recently announced a comprehensive financial relief programme for South African men’s and women’s professional golfers.

The package include a monthly stipend to its member professionals, and on a scale according to their various categories of membership, for the months of April and May 2020.

The Women’s Professional Golf Association (WPGA), in partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour, announced a similar financial programme for the top 25 South African professionals on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

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The Sunshine Tour also pays a monthly stipend for April and May 2020 to all the caddies, who are registered with the South African Caddie Association (SACA) and who have been active in the 2019-2020 Sunshine Tour season.

This is to assist them in meeting their financial obligations at a time when professional golf worldwide has been suspended because of COVID-19.

Reacting to the South African programme, PGA of Nigeria Director, Samson Lawal, said the association lacked the financial capacity to embark on charity drive to bail out some of its ailing members, adding there were currently no tournaments to boost its revenue base.

“I quite appreciate the economic hardship the players are going through at the moment because of the Coronavirus, which is a global problem. Unfortunately, PGA Nigeria has no money at all to help out.

“As I speak, to maintain the secretariat is a big issue for us; we need to pay staff salaries and take care of other logistics. I can tell you for free that we don’t have up to N5 million in the treasury,” he lamented.

He added: “We can only effectively carry out humanitarian services just when tournaments are running and we are getting our percentages and that is the global practice.

“PGA of Nigeria doesn’t get subvention from the government like the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF). We generate our revenue from tournaments and members annual subscription fees.”

Lawal regretted that lack of regular and enough tournaments has affected some members’ ability to meet their obligations.

He lamented that many “people are owing the association for many years and have not been able to pay till date; this development further depletes the treasury of the association.”

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