Niger Tornadoes FC owners in an effort to avert strike by players

Niger Tornadoes

The Niger State Government started talks with the Niger Tornadoes Football Club of Minna’s management and players on Tuesday in an effort to prevent a walkout over unpaid wages. 

This was disclosed to reporters by Muhammadu Lafiya, the state commissioner for youth and sports development.  

Lafiya claimed to have had separate meetings with the club’s administration and players while speaking in Minna, the state capital.  

He said: “I am just coming out now from two separate meetings. 

“One was with the management of Niger Tornadoes, involving the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, four Directors, Vice-Chairman of Niger Tornadoes and the Technical Adviser, while the other meeting was with some of the players.” 

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Lafiya, who did not disclose the amount of money owed to the players, said the money was for players’ clearance fees and some allowances. 

He also blamed the inability of the state government to settle the arrears of money owed to the players on the current economic downturn. 

“The government has started discussions with the players and other stakeholders on why they should not embark on the strike and give the government a chance to resolve the issue,” the commissioner said. 

He said the present situation gives no room for promises but finding practical solutions to lingering issues. 

Lafiya said: “It is my job as the Commissioner for Sports to get things done, because the club belongs to the state. 

“Therefore, what I have done with my Permanent Secretary, as well as some ministry Directors, is working to keep the club afloat. 

“I can also assure you that over the next couple of days, we will do everything possible to ensure that the planned industrial action does not take place.” 

The Commissioner also expressed optimism that the players would play their next match, which is a Match Day 36 fixture with the MFM FC, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Sunday. 

“However, we will make sure that the players of Niger Tornadoes participate in their next match,” he said.  

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