Olympian, Okorodudu begs ministry for 10 months’ salary arrears

By Femi Adefioye, Lagos
An Olympian, Jerry Okorodudu, has begged officials of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development over the non-payment of 10 months salaries arrears since his engagement as a coach in the Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF) in 2014.
Okorodudu, fondly called “Jerry’’, who represented Nigeria in the Middleweight category in the boxing event of the Los Angeles 1994 Olympics, has a contract appointment with the NBF.
Formerly a coach in the NBF, he initially had had problems with the body resulting from an altercation with the then Director-General of the sports ministry.
The problem was taken to court by the ex-boxer, leading to non-payment of his salaries thus, keeping him jobless.
The issue was resolved under the leadership of a former minister in the ministry, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi who also gave him the contract coaching job.
Okorodudu told newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos that he was appealing to the Ministry of Youth and Sports to pay his salary arrears for 10 months.
He explained that his salary has not being paid since March 2016.
“I have been working without salary for the past 10 months, throughout 2016, I got salary for only two months and that was in January and February last year.
“I was in Abuja in November to sort the delay in my salary, after mounting pressure; I was privileged to meet the sports ministry’s Permanent Secretary who ensured that I got the February salary.
“The sports ministry should please do something about my salary areas because I don’t have any other job or source of income outside coaching in boxing,’’ he said.
He said that several efforts made to reach Solomon Dalung, the Minister of Youth and Sports, on the issue proved abortive.
“I have called the minister and his PA severally on phone, even today, but they are not answering, I resolved to send text messages, yet no response.
“It’s unfair and I can no longer continue to keep quiet because the situation is affecting me generally, especially in carrying out my responsibilities at home. Two of my children are in private schools and it is compulsory that I pay their fees which I cannot shift because it will be failure on my part,’’ he said.
Okorodudu, represented Nigeria in boxing event in 1984 Lose Angeles Olympics and lost to American Vigil Hills at the quarter-finals of the Games.
He also represented Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in 1982 in Brisbane, Australia in middleweight category.
Okorodudu participated in the Africa Boxing Championships and clichéd two medals for Nigeria.
At the national scene, Okorodudu, won a gold medal in the 1979 National Sports Festival and he was in the 1980’s the national lightweight champion for many years in the amateur category.
He turned professional in 1985.

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