Anambra State House of Assembly has queried the Chairman of Anambra State Sports Commission, Tony Oli, over the alleged misappropriation of N165 million meant for schools sports development fund.
Oli, while defending the 2021 budget of the Sports Commission before the House of Assembly Committee on Sports, chaired by Noble Igwe, representing Ogbaru 1 Constituency, admitted that the fund was channeled from the sports development vote to fund the Police Games, which was not captured in the 2020 appropriation.
But frowning upon such act, the Committee Chairman and another member, John Nwokoye likened it to a misappropriation and an unlawful act, warning against its future repeat.
The Committee advised that rather than yank off the allocation from Schools Sports Development Fund, the Commission should have applied for a virement to move such fund.
“You cannot use money meant for schools sports development to organise Police Games without virement. This particular budget specified what the budget should be used for… To go beyond this, you’re doing what is called misappropriation,” warned Igwe.
Earlier, the commission’s Chairman told the House that N8 million released for the postponed National Sports Festival now rescheduled for Edo between December 3 and 30, this year, had been expended on camping and feeding of the athletes and officials.
According to Oli, the Commission had planned to write the governor for new funds for camping and feeding of athletes and officials who went into camp for the festival on Monday, November 16, this year.
He said that the Ekwueme Square camp and other sports facilities, which were shut down in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, have been opened effective November 17, this year.
According to him, the state has spent about N200 million on salaries and allowances of players and officials, adding that the state currently has a women team, which represents South-east in the festival, and a men’s team named Bombers FC.
The Sports Commission boss disclosed that the final of Community Shield would be played in January 2021 at the Awka Stadium field, which deadline for completion of work by the contracting firm, MonieMichelle, he said, was fixed for December ending.
While noting that Otuocha Stadium had been completed, he added that contract for Ekwulobia Stadium had been awarded while that of Ogidi was work in progress.
He lamented the effect of COVID-19, which according to him, shut down sporting activities in the state and kept athletes redundant.