President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate payment of bonuses to the country’s national female football team, Chief of Staff Abba Kyari said Wednesday.
“The problem has been resolved. The players did us proud. I congratulated them for the feat they achieved, and I have also told them that all their entitlements will be paid latest by Thursday as ordered by Mr. Pesident,” Kyari told reporters in the capital, Abuja.
He said he addressed the footballers who earlier Wednesday stormed the parliament building to protest non-payment of allowances and bonuses following their win over Cameroon to win the 10th African Women’s Cup of Nations – the eighth title for the Super Falcons.
Clad in the official national jersey, the team carried signs that read: “We are your children, pity us” and “We deserve respect; female football deserves respect”.
The women are reportedly each owed approximately $16,500 in bonuses and allowances while but just $2,000 have been paid by the nation’s football governing body, the Nigeria Football Federation.
The women also claim they are owed for the 2016 Olympic qualifiers, Africa’s championship qualifiers and the 2015 All-Africa Games.
The protest – apparently targeted at getting the government’s attention – came as Buhari was scheduled to present the 2017 budget to a joint sitting of the parliament in Abuja.