Nigeria is a country that has had a football tradition over the years with both positive and negative aspects.However the new football dispensation can be lauded to have set the bar so high with a major transparency coup for the NFF long regarded as a corrupt institution.
The current Nigeria Football Federation team under the leadership of Amaju Pinnick who doubles up as CAF Executive committee member have taken great pains to shed that bad reputation – a handover from previous years and alas it is encouraging many more private investments and sponsorship never seen before are coming onboard a clear manifestation of prudent management.
For years, Nigerian companies have shied away from investing in domestic football, mostly due to the near-unending crisis and perceptions of corruption. That led to serious and damaging marks to the NFF’s reputation something that has drastically changed over time now financial auditors can examine the federation’s books at any time of their choosing as NFF have a opened their books to them to inspect at any time they want to examine the federation finances with payments most made on a quarterly basis,overseen by financial derivatives in a reputable financial services firm to ensure full transparency.
The achievement are hardly a surprise to football buffs,stakeholders and pundits. The management team at NFF has endeared itself to sponsors because of transparent open lines of engagements both financially and on the pitch getting those needed results to encourage positive growth and football development in Nigeria.
Over two decades down the line, there has not been a success story to talk about . Mismanagement and corruption continued to bedevil the growth of the sport, affecting the professionalism of Nigerian football and dampening the morale of a football loving nation
In the past years especially, NFF had been enmeshed in leadership crisis which has manifested in the recruitment of inferior foreign players, tribal considerations in the selection process and non-payment of salaries and allowances.
Fast forward things are looking rosy as investors seek to partner with NFF after years where the federation largely depended on the government of the day for financial help.
Aiteo’s huge investment, the biggest and most significant by a Nigerian company in a 5-year sponsorship deal was a breath of fresh air , opened the doors for others to step in, especially if the first year of the contract goes without a hitch.That was a huge vote of confidence on NFF by Aiteo showing their confidence to step in against all odds.Nigeria Brewerirs PLC have also partnered with NFF While the Zenith Bank is committed to the growth of Nigerian Football. The Bank and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) entered into a partnership in the year 2015 for the development of youth Football and capacity building programs.
NFF have also signed two partnership deals with TGI and Payporte while they ensured they partnered with Cadbury unveiling Tom Tom as official candy for the Super Eagles in a 3 year deal.
Coca Cola made a great comeback as the official soft drink sponsor of the Super Eagles and other national teams.Its imperative to note the growth of the beautiful game in Nigeria who will be one of the five African representatives to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The mentality at NFF has completely changed whereas many other federations still treat football as a hobby,NFF clearly have set a path to ensure gains by all football stakeholders knowing well that football is a multi-million dollar industry that can improve any countries GDP.