Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick
If you have been a follower of
Nigerian football, you will be asking the same question as I am.
The question is being asked
because I do not know and I am not sure if many people know.
Two years ago, Amaju Pinnick,
the president of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF would have been
termed a monumental failure. In fact he was a monumental failure
because nothing seemed to work for the national teams.
We stopped qualifying for
tournaments and coaches were changed at will, especially at the Super
Eagles level.
I remember it was Stephen
Keshi to Shuaibu Amodu, then back to Stephen Keshi, then Sunday
Oliseh, Samson Siasia, Paul Le Geun and then Gernot Rohr, all in
about fifteen months.
Monies could not be paid and
at some point it was common knowledge that the Federation was broke.
Nigerian football was in free fall and it was clear for all to see.
The reasons given by the
Federation chief, Pinnick and his media handlers then was that the
politicking in Nigerian football had a lot to do with the ills that
befell us.
They cited the Chris Giwa
issue and the constant court cases as factors destroying Nigerian
football at the time.
They also cited uncertainty
surrounding their leadership (because of these court cases) as a
reason why the corporate world had stayed away from partnering with
Nigerian football.
Their excuses and reasons made
sense, but at that time it did not seem right as it could have just
been a ploy to deflect attention from their inefficiencies.
However, two years later, one
can see that they may just have been right.
Things
have changed, really they have
NFF unveil Payporte as partners
Between the exit of Sunday
Oliseh and the appointment of Gernot Rohr, it was complete chaos.
Do you all remember when the
announcement was first made that Paul Le Guen would coach the Eagles,
but the French coach himself denied he had been hired and we were
back to the proverbial “square one.”
Nigerian football was in miry
clay. It was that bad and there was only one person to blame, the
leadership and Amaju Pinnick, the president.
Let’s fast forward the clock
a bit and see how things have changed a lot.
I remember when the draws for
the World Cup Qualifiers were made, my statement where and whenever I
was asked about our chances in the group was that, “We will carry
last.”
At that time in our football
lives I really did not see our national team overpowering the likes
of Cameroon and Algeria. We had almost hit rock bottom in terms of
organisation.
I was forced to eat humble pie
as Nigeria did not just qualify but did so in style.

The truth is that, if
you blamed the head for failure, then praise the head for success,
which I have not failed to do.
But it wasn’t just about
success on the pitch, because this one seems to be cutting across.
Landmark
agreement with players on bonuses
Unveiling WAPIC Insurance as NFF partners
At about the time the Eagles
played against Argentina in a friendly match late last year, news
filtered out, with photos that the players had agreed with the
Nigeria Football Federation on bonuses for the World Cup.
This had to do with World Cup
Qualifying bonuses and what they get for games played in Russia.
This had never happened in
Nigerian football as there were cases of arguments over money when
they actually should have been preparing for games.
The case of the players
missing a training session in Brazil four years ago as they squabbled
for money comes to mind.
I saw this then as a pro-
active measure by the Federation to at least ensure that things are
done differently now than before.
Why this makes headline news
for Nigerians is that the players will certainly focus on their game
in Russia, which is what we have always wanted.
Money!
Money!! Money!!!
From being a broke Federation,
the sponsorship deals started, first as a bit of a shock and then
becoming something we became used to because of how frequently they
were signed.
Zenith Bank In 2015,
the Nigerian Football Federation announced a partnership deal with
one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, Zenith Bank. Both
parties underscored the significance of the partnership, which
focuses on youth development and capacity building for officials, as
a landmark event for football in Nigeria.
No figures were made public
for this.
Nike
American kit wear manufacturers
and the NFF entered a deal for three and half years and according to
a www.goal.com report was worth
$3.5m (about N743 million).
This
also included a massive cash bonus for the Eagles if they qualified
for the 2018 World Cup which they did. This deal was signed in 2015.
AITEO Energy giants,
AITEO partnered with the NFF to the tune of N2.5b for five years
(five hundred million naira per years. Awesome!)
Most of this money would be
used to pay salaries of National Team coaches. So never again would
we hear that coaches are being owed at that level.
TGI announcement
TGI Group is the
parent company of WACOT Limited, Chi Limited and other companies,
producers of household brands such as Big Bull Rice, CHIVITA,
Hollandia Yoghurt and Renew Starch.
A three year deal was signed
with TGI and with no figures mentioned, they will probably just
provide their products.
Payporte
The agreement with the
www.payporte.com
makes the company the official online shop for sales of Eagles’
jerseys for three years. It was signed in 2017.
Coca Cola In January
2018, Soft Drink giants, Coca Cola signed a sponsorship agreement
with the Federation worth $4m (about N1.4b) as sponsor of all
National teams and will run for five years.
This results in almost three
hundred million naira a year.
Nigerian Breweries This
deal was/ is worth N2.2 Billion for five years, equating to more than
four hundred million naira yearly.
WAPIC In January of
2018, the NFF announced a five year agreement with WAPIC Insurance
Plc as its new co-sponsor and official insurance service provider,
even though no financial details were given.
Cadbury
Just two weeks ago, the
Federation announced that
they are set to seal a deal
making Tom Tom the Official Candy of the Super Eagles.
The
agreement is for a period of three years in the initial period, and
renewable. It makes Tom Tom the ‘Official Candy of the Super
Eagles, but no figures were
mentioned.
Where
did all the money come from? What is Pinnick doing?
For a Federation that was
broke just three years ago, it is massive that all of these deals are
in.
Vice president of the
Federation, Shehu Dikko was once quoted as saying, for the first time
in Nigeria’s history, the NFF would not need to ask money from
government to prosecute the World Cup and if that is true (it
obviously is from these figure) then kudos must go to those who have
made it possible.
I will quote my friend and
fellow football writer, Andrew Randa (@RandaAndrew on twitter), “The
NFF have done quite well in that regard. When Amaju came on board, he
promised to get corporate bodies to commit to the NFF as sponsors. He
has done that with flying colours. I must commend him for the effort
put in to get the likes of Aiteo, Coca Cola Nigeria Breweries.
Hopefully, these sponsorships will reflect and trickle down to every
facet of our football.”
Andrew Randa could not have
said it better and the question remains, “What is Amaju Pinnick
doing?”
Whatever it is, we are
enjoying it and would wish he does not stop.





Amaju’s most recent Twitter
post went thus, on February 2, 2018 



While
wishing the Super Eagles the best of luck in the final of the African
Nations Championship, CHAN, I wish to announce, with pride, that Mr.
Samson Adamu is the new CAF Director of Competitions and Mr. A.U
Mustapha, SAN, is the new President of the CAF Appeals Board.
Nothing
fills me with more pride than seeing Nigerians striving to make
football on the continent better. While thanking Nigerians for their
support and their patience with all of us in charge of taking our
football higher, I’m also grateful for the love you’ve shown us all.
I’ll
also like to thank, particularly, the President of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for creating
the enabling environment for football stability and prosperity. His
support for the NFF is immense.
Our
football is on the rise again and with everybody’s support and the
continuing hardwork of everybody involved, the sky will be our
stepping stone. So I say, from the bottom of my heart; thank you,
Nigerians. Thank you .

Now we have sorted out the
finances, we need to sort out the performances. Here is hoping for
the Eagles to fly as high as possible in Russia.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here