Gusau (L) with Pinnick (second right), Sanusi (right) and Adebutu (second left) at Premier Lotto

By Ed Malik, A | November 8, 2022
ed@ddnewsonline.com

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau has given a strong assurance to the Federation’s corporate partners and sponsors, that their monies will be spent judiciously to develop the game of football in the country, saying they will ensure transparency across board.

NFF delegation was in Lagos Monday to interface with secured partners and sponsors, to discuss the collaborative ways that they can meet the objective of corporate sponsorship and funding for Nigeria football.

The delegation which comprised NFF President Gusau, the immediate past NFF boss and FIFA Council Member, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi and Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire; expressed appreciation to the frontline partnering corporations and appealed to them for more support in order to improve the opportunities for game in Nigeria.

Gusau lauded Pinnick’s role in bringing the new management to Lagos, to introduce them to some of the traditional sponsors, which he described as noble and in the national interest. More so, as he was instrumental to bringing some of them on board, while he held sway.

While at the MTN office Lagos (official Telecommunications partner of NFF), Pinnick said. “For the first time in decent memory in Nigeria Football, we had a rancour-free transition from one Executive team to the other. It is as a result of the deep respect and strong passion for Nigeria Football and the Nigeria nation that we all share.”

“It is for this reason that I have decided to introduce the new helmsman to you in order that you can continue to interact with and support him and the Federation to achieve their vision and mission.”

In attendance to receive the NFF delegation was MTN’s Chief Executive Officer Carl Toriola, Chief Operating Officer Hassan Jaber, Chief Corporate Services Officer Tobechukwu Okigbo and Chief Marketing Officer Adia Sowho.

In his remarks, Gusau thanked MTN for their strong support to Nigeria Football and Nigeria sports generally, saying “We appreciate what you have been doing for the game of football and we want you to continue, and even do more so that the new Board can be enabled to work assiduously to lift the Nigeria game to new heights. We apologize for the inability of the Super Eagles to qualify for the FIFA World Cup starting in Qatar next week but we want to use this opportunity to commence the hard work necessary to avoid such mis-step in the future.”

“I am assuring you that whatever funds come through you will be put to judicious use as we are presently cutting down on expenses to ascent prudence and manage available resources to achieve the best results.”

Toriola responded that having signed a long-term contract with the football body, his organization would not breach the agreement because of a missed World Cup tournament.

“We will continue to support the Federation until Nigeria football gets to the level it should be internationally. We must re-energize ourselves for the work at hand. I must commend Mr. Pinnick’s exceptional dynamism and the MTN commits to supporting the new administration.”

The general theme of appreciation and pledges of judicious use of funds and optimization of resources was message at the other meetings.

The delegation also visited the NFF’s official Optimum Partner, Aiteo Group, where the Executive Vice President, Mr. Francis Peters pledged his company’s continued support and encouragement to the new Board.

When the team berthed at the Premier Lotto office, the Managing Director, Mr. Adebisi Adebutu said his company will explore even other areas they can support the NFF, in addition to the present partnership agreement. “I must say that we had a wonderful relationship with the Board headed by Mr. Pinnick and we believe we will have same cordial relationship with the new Board.”

NFF’s official bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank also pledged continued support to the NFF, through Charles Omoera, Chief Executive: “We are particularly interested in the women’s football and youth programs you have enunciated and are ready and willing to commit to these programs to develop Nigeria’s future legends and icons of the game.”

NFF’s chief marketing consultant, Mr. Mike Itemuagbor lauded the peaceful elections that brought in Gusau, and commended the role being played by Pinnick. “Pinnick has stout corporate drive and high relevance, and I believe he will help the new Board in that area. We will give ample support to the new Board but we want you to beware of the antics of ambush marketers and put stern measures in place to discourage them.

Itemuagbor said, “Pamodzi Sports Marketing will be there for the new Board and will provide advice when necessary, because football is a passion that runs through the blood of every Nigerian and brings all of us together.”

NFF Sec-Gen, Sanusi added that for the record that without Pamodzi Sports Marketing, things would have been a lot more difficult for a number of NFF administrations over the past two decades.

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