UNIPORT athletes sets to tackle authorities over NUGA entitlements
Athletes in University of Port Harcourt athletes are angry about the failure of the institution to pay them their allowances for participating in the last Nigeria University Games. (NUGA)
UNIPORT emerged overall winner of the university competition hosted by the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, in April, carting home 70 gold, 47 silver and 33 bronze medals.
According to reports the athletes are yet to receive their allowances for participating in the Games, as the school fails to pay.
However, according to the athletes, all their efforts to get their entitlements from the institution had not yielded any results. They claimed that the school had failed to fulfil its promise to reward them for winning the Games.
One of the athletes said, “We gave our best to ensure that the school won the competition. We didn’t just win – we won convincingly – but our allowances are yet to be paid.
“We have written to the management through the Director of Sports (Prof. Ken Anugweje) but we haven’t received anything positive.”
Another athlete said, “We were promised a lot. But as of today some of us haven’t collected the basic allowances due to us. We are planning to protest against the delay in paying us our entitlements. We don’t want it to get to that stage but we have little options left.”
“They promised to host us and pay N20,000 for gold, N15,000 for silver and N10,000 for bronze.
“We have been told that we will get our money after being hosted by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.”
Meanwhile, the institution’s Director of Sports, Prof. Ken Anugweje claimed that the athletes were paid before the competition.
He added that the school would host the athletes at a later date.
“The tradition of UNIPORT is to reward excellence in both academics and sports. The athletes who won NUGA will be rewarded when the university can do so. They were hosted by the Vice-Chancellor immediately after winning the Games,” he said.
“For the allowances, no athlete is owed by the school because we didn’t even pay them in cash. The money was transferred to their bank accounts.”