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Project Consultant explains delay in payment of Lagos City Marathon prize money to foreign runners

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Female Marathon winners

The Project Consultant of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Bukola Olopade has pleaded with participants who won prize money in the 2020 edition but have not been paid to exercise a bit more patience.

In a statement signed on behalf of Olopade by the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Head of Communications and Media, Olukayode Thomas, Olopade assured that the runners will be paid soon.

Said Thomas: “Unlike previous editions when prize monies are promptly paid, 2020 is a peculiar year. The global lockdown occasioned by the Coronavirus Pandemic delayed the doping test results, which is a very important requirement for payment of prize money to runners in compliance with the World Athletics standards.

“Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has a good reputation for excellence in Nigeria and the rest of the world in doing the best for our runners.”

“Everybody should realize that we are in unusual times but we are determined to do all that is necessary to resolve the payment issues as fast as possible.

“Since March, our staff has been working full time due to the coronavirus pandemic and government regulations that certain categories of staff should abstain from work, this has had a telling effects on our operations.”

He said like many other countries, the Coronavirus has had some negative impact on Nigeria’s economy and this development has negatively impacted on the foreign exchange.

“This has occasioned the need for budget adjustments here and there and such processes do take some time especially when the needed work force is not operating at the optimal level, ” he said.

Thomas said runners in Nigeria who are not being paid in dollars have since been paid their monies and also received other gifts due to them.

Thomas said winners, through their managers, representatives and World Athletics are regularly informed about the challenges we are facing and the efforts we are trying to surmount the challenges.

“They had been informed of the potential delay as a result of Covid19 and its adverse effect on the Naira exchange rate to the United States Dollar. Secondly, our race cannot be bigger than the monetary policy of the country. We are trying very hard to ensure payment and also ensure that our sponsors do not incur more expenses in the process.

“Apart from prompt payment of prize monies the management of Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have gone out of our way to ensure we give extra comfort to runners. We have never defaulted in payment of their entitlements, monetary and otherwise so there should be some trust and respect,” said Thomas