Lagos City Marathon: Organisers explain delay in payment to foreign runners

The Project Consultant of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Hon. Bukola Olopade has made a passionate appeal to runners across the world who won prize money in the 2020 edition but have not been paid to exercise a bit more patience as efforts have been doubled to ensure they are paid soon.

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

“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.  Thomas said.

He added: “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.”

The Project Consultant according to Thomas said runners through their managers and representatives were duly informed of the challenges we are facing with the lockdown which has affected our operations in Nigeria

He said: “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 not 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 effect 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 workforce is not operating at the optimal level.”

Thomas said runners in Nigeria who are not being paid in dollars thus don’t require the foreign exchange bureaucracies have since been paid their monies and also received other gifts due to them.

Thomas revealed that winners through their mangers and 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.”

Thomas appealed to runners especially Kenyans and elite runners from other countries who have benefitted immensely from the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon to exercise some restraint and remember that their relationship with Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is not a sprint and should trust an organization that has never defaulted,

“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