By Saxone Akhaine
Kaduna — Citing the need to promote transparency and accountability in governance, officials of Media Rights Agenda (MRA) have asked the Federal Government to disclose the cost of Nigeria’s participation in the 2018 World Cup tournament, which kicks off in Russia tomorrow.
According to the MRA, which said its sole aim is, among other things, to monitor Federal Government’s compliance level on the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, the government should publish the financial implication of Nigeria’s participation in the World Cup.
It wants the cost published together “with a list of footballers, coaches, supporters, government officials and their aides, who will be travelling to Russia for the 2018 World Cup and whose travel expenses will be covered through public funds, as well as the total cost to the government for Nigeria’s participation in the World Cup.”
The request for the details was contained in three separate applications signed by MRA’s Executive Director, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, and dated June 8, 2018 and addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Minister of Youth and Sports and the President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
Ojo said the group “is asking the government to provide details of travel expenses, including flights, accommodation, visa costs, living expenses and other allowances, which will be covered by the Federal Government or through public funds, either in part or in full”, while stressing, “the organisation is also asking the various officials to indicate in their responses whether budgetary allocation for Nigeria’s participation in the 2018 World Cup, including the total cost to the government, has been provided for and approved in the 2018 Appropriation Act of the Federal Government and specify the head of expenditure to which the costs are being charged.”
MRA is also “asking them to provide it with details of the sources of funds and the amount from each source received by them relating to Nigeria’s participation in the 2018 World Cup as well as the total amount received for this purpose.”The organization also wants details of other in-kind sponsorships and partnerships received by them or entered into to participate in the 2018 World Cup, including the coverage of each partnership or sponsorship.”Ojo said the rights group expects to receive the information within the seven days stipulated in the FOI Act.