Tongues are wagging at the Ministry of Youth and Sports following the controversial decision by the Minister, Solomon Dalung to renew the contracts of two Americans, Eric Campbell and Angie Taylor for another two years.
The two expatriates were employed as National Director and Director of athletics of Nigeria’s High Performance Centre respectively by former Minister, Malam Bolaji Abdulahi.
For more than four years after their arrival, Nigeria is yet to establish a High Performance Centre in Abuja, where they are based. The only HPC is in Port Harcourt and the duo hardly visits. Indeed, they are yet to discover any grassroots athlete since their arrival.
On assuming office, just before the end of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, the Director General of the defunct National Sports Commission, Mallam Alhassan Yakmut decided not to renew their contract after it expired last year.
Yakmut who took the action before the appointment of the sports minister had informed journalists that it did not make sense paying Taylor and Campbell a whopping N2 million and N1.5 million naira monthly without them rendering the services for which they were employed.
Apart from the jumbo wages they receive, Taylor is also entitled to three staff including a driver, a cook and a security guard who are paid by the ministry. In addition she is entitled to travel to America twice in a year on the bill of the ministry.
However, a source at the ministry told Sports Vanguard that the Minister, Solomon Dalung may be working towards setting up the centre hence his recent tour to South Africa where he was said to have gone to see their own High Performance Centre.