The chairman of House of Representatives’ Committee on Sports, Godfrey Giaya, has shed light on why the National Assembly in the last dispensation could not pass the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, bill into law.
According to him, the document presented to the National Assembly by the NFF was poorly drafted.
Giaya told P.M. Sports in Abuja that the NFF bill was actually discussed and passed through three readings at the House of Representatives, but encountered a problem in the Senate, which made it impossible for both Houses to reach a consensus on the passage of the bill before the end of last National Assembly.
“In the last National Assembly, there was an Executive Bill seeking to repeal an Act of 2004. The bill successfully passed through three readings in the House of Representatives and was supposed to pass for reading in the Senate but some loopholes were discovered in the bill. This prevented its passage before the end of the 6th National Assembly,” Gaiya said.
He said that it was a blessing in disguise that the bill was not passed into law in the 6th National Assembly because after taking a critical look at the document NFF presented, it was discovered it was poorly drafted and there were a lot of discrepancies.
“After the end of the 6th National Assembly, we discovered a lot of lapses that I even said it was good that the bill was not passed. The bill was badly drafted,” he said.
Meanwhile, a former member of the House Committee on Sports, Dino Melaye has advised the leadership of the NFF not to appeal the court judgement instead it should pursue vigorously the lobbying of the National Assembly for quick passage of the NFF bill.
“The NFF has only one option in this case, which is to start intense lobbying at the National Assembly. During my time at the House of Representatives, the NFF did not really lobby the leadership of the House and the Senate for the bill to be passed into law. If the NFF decides to appeal the judgement in court, it won’t solve the problem at all,” Melaye said.
He further said that it is only the National Assembly that can give the NFF a lifeline to continue to operate in Nigeria by repealing the current Act and replaced it with a new law that will legalise the football body.
“There should be a high level of lobbying between the Glass House and the National Assembly right now if the NFF wants to come out of this mess. The current Act should be repealed by the National Assembly and indeed replaced by a new law to suit the operations of the NFF.”