Following recent renewed discussions in the US, the second-term running governor has revived the equal pay debate in Nigeria
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has highlighted the gap in pay between the Nigerian men’s national team and women, in an event marking International Women’s Month.
Bello, who was a special guest of honour at the occasion themed, “I choose to challenge gender inequality in football” on Saturday, described the discrimination against women’s teams as unacceptable.
The Super Falcons are one of the most successful national teams in the world with a record nine continental titles but only receive $3,000 as winning bonuses compared to the men’s $10,000.
Some members of the women’s team have raised their voices about the gender pay gap, claiming they had not been paid equitably compared with what the men’s team received.
And the 45-year-old has lamented the pay gap between the women and men’s teams, as he feels there is a need to effect equal pay.
“It is a situation where our female players are winning trophies and medals and making us proud both in Nigeria, Africa and across the world but the commensurate pay is not giving to them, is unacceptable,” Bello told media.
The English Football Association and Brazilian Football Federation recently joined the growing list of nations in declaring publicly their commitments to equal pay after Australia, Norway and New Zealand.
And the governor has revived the global campaign against gender disparity in match fees and bonuses by female footballers, which has also been pushed by new US president Joe Biden.
‘We look at the situation where one day both the Super Eagles or other male teams fetch us two naira and our female team fetches us one naira, what we want is equity and none should be neglected,” Bello continued.
‘I strongly advocate for equity as far as remuneration and packages are concerned. It should not only be in football but other sports across the country. Our females deserve to be given recognition even outside.”
Adding his voice, Nigeria Football Federation General Secretary, Dr Sanusi Mohammed, believes the women’s national team deserves better remuneration based on their achievements.
“I think the event was very timely as women’s football has done a lot to the development of football in Nigeria. We’re the reigning African Champions and unarguably the best team in Africa, playing at all the senior Women’s World Cup tournaments,” he said via a video message.
“We are the only African team to have done that. I believe women’s football has a reason to ask for a balance between the men and women’s game, considering what they achieved for the country.”
On her part, NFF head of women’s football and convener of the event, Amina Daura, also pledged to challenge the status quo.
“I am very passionate about seeing an improved fortune of the women’s game, and I think this year’s event allowed us to challenge a better life for many struggling girl children at the grassroots level,” she said.
During the one-day occasion, Waco Academy defeated their Abuja-based women’s rivals Yes Diamond Queens 3-0 in a novelty fixture to claim the trophy and set of branded jerseys.