The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) believes business moguls, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola will help its quest for financial autonomy. Yesterday, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick explained that he invited Dangote and Otedola to the FIFA Best Awards ceremony in London on Monday night because of the role they could play in the federation’s move to self-sufficiency.
Thenff.com reports that Dangote and Otedola were conspicuous at the Awards, where they met with FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the crème de la crème of world football in the British capital.
Pinnick said: “Alhaji Dangote is perhaps the biggest business brand in Africa, and one of Nigeria’s leading Ambassadors. I am very happy to be in a position to invite him and Otedola to such an event of global stature and essence.
“As a nation, it is important that we continue to showcase our best brands in all fields. Doing this enhances the stock of our country globally. Alhaji Dangote and Mr. Otedola were happy to meet the world’s top governors of football and the football governors were also happy to meet them.“Our objective as a football federation is to attain financial autonomy so that the government can channel resources otherwise taken up by football into other critical sectors, and we believe that if we have persons like Dangote and Otedola partnering with Nigerian football, we will get there faster,” said Pinnick.
A notable football fan, Dangote is reportedly worth over $15 billion.“The NFF has invited Alhaji Dangote to a couple of matches previously, including the friendly match with England in London before the FIFA World Cup in Russia, but he was unable to attend. Now, we are discussing with him on a relationship with Nigerian Football and he is showing immense interest,” Pinnick, who is also the first vice president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), said.
AITEO is currently Nigerian football’s biggest partner, with a five–year agreement for payment of coaches of the various national teams, sponsorship of the annual AITEO Cup for men and women and sponsorship of the annual NFF/AITEO Awards.
Thenff.com revealed that Pinnick also invited Benedict Peters, who is the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of AITEO Group to the last FIFA Best Awards ceremony in London. He was represented by Francis Peters, his deputy. This year, AITEO was represented by Executive Director, Andrew Onyearu, as Peters was in New York to receive an award for the company from FORBES magazine.
“Football has tremendous capacity to be self –sustaining and even contribute significantly to the national GDP. That is the station we are targeting at the moment.“I also want to use this opportunity to appreciate our other sponsors and partners, Coca Cola, Zenith Bank, Nigeria Breweries PLC, NIKE, Cadbury PLC, WAPIC Insurance, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, TGI, 1XBET, Peak Milk, Payporte for making us to attain the present 65 per cent private sector –funding status,” said Pinnick.