The Athletics Federation of Nigeria has signed a sponsorship deal but there has been infighting over the money ©AFN

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has announced a sponsorship deal with Premium Trust Bank as it prepares for this year's World Championships in Budapest.

Nilayo Sports Management signed the three-year deal on behalf of the AFN, with the flagship event in the Hungarian capital approaching between August 19 and 27.

"Premium Trust Bank has demonstrated dedication to the growth and development of athletics in the country," a statement said.

"As a forward thinking and fast growing brand, we are very confident that this is a collaboration that will transform athletics in Nigeria."

Premium Trust Bank is based in Lagos in Nigeria and was only established last year.

According to Nigerian newspaper The Guardian, the deal has caused infighting at the AFN and a "rumour of a scramble for sponsorship money".

Bukola Olopade, the chief executive of Nilayo Sports Management, is also the chief marketing consultant for the AFN.

The Guardian said AFN Board members had been given the power to convene meetings and there were suggestions that some were "plotting" against President Tonobok Okowa over sponsorship cash.

"It is unfortunate that some of the Board members are accusing Okowa wrongly over issues he knows nothing about," Olopade told the newspaper. 

Tobi Amusan won World Championships gold for Nigeria last year ©AFN
Tobi Amusan won World Championships gold for Nigeria last year ©AFN

"I heard this rumour of some of the members scrambling for sponsorship money before I traveled out of Nigeria, and I have expressed my disappointment with some of them.

"In the first place, AFN does not have a contract with Premium Trust Bank, rather, it was my company, Nilayo Sports, that signed a sponsorship deal with Premium Trust Bank.

"As the chief marketing consultant to AFN, we signed a three-year-sponsorship pact on behalf of Premium Trust Bank with the AFN. 

"Money that comes from the sponsorship deal is not given to any individual, it is tied to competitions.

"In other words, the AFN will have to write to Premium Trust Bank, through Nilayo Sports, for money to be released for major competitions, including the World Athletics Championships."  

Nigeria won a gold and a silver medal at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, with women's 100 metres hurdler Tobi Amusan topping the podium.

She set a world record time of 12.12sec in the semi-finals.