By Nurudeen Obalola in Uyo: The Nigeria Football Federation on Friday signed a partnership and sponsorship agreement with the agricultural processing conglomerate Tropical General Investment Group here in Uyo on Friday as the Super Eagles prepared to face Zambia in a World Cup qualifier, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
TGI Executive Director Onyekachi Onubogu signed the three-year agreement on behalf of TGI, while President Amaju Pinnick, Vice-Presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shebi D ikko, as well as League Management Company Chief Executive Officer Nduka Irabor, represented the NFF at the signing ceremony held at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
“TGI is a multi-national agricultural processing conglomerate and we have the largest rice mill in Nigeria, which is in Kebbi State,” Onubogu said at the press conference to announce the partnership.
“We have invested big in Nigeria and we want to show loyalty and passion for Nigeria by investing big in football. Football is very important in Nigeria and this is an opportunity to work with the NFF and help develop Nigerian football.
“We support the NFF’s desire to grow Nigerian football with private sector participation. We want to partner with the NFF in ensuring Nigerian football grows from strength to strength. We hope other corporates will partner with the NFF to grow Nigerian football.
“We at TGI are privileged and excited to be associated with the NFF and Nigerian football. We hope the Super Eagles will do very well at the World Cup, because I believe they will qualify tomorrow; it’s a formality.”
Pinnick praised TGI for identifying with Nigerian football, and promised that more of such partnership agreements would be signed.
“This is an important moment in Nigerian football’s drive for excellence,” the NFF President said. “We’re happy a huge conglomerate like TGI is partnering with us. They’ve seen our processes and our integrity and they’ve seen we want to be 100 per cent private- sector driven to refocus Nigerian football.
“Lots more partnerships like this one will come after the Super Eagles secure the World Cup ticket. TGI is a very thorough company and they have shown with this agreement that they find our processes satisfactory.
“More Nigerian companies should identify with us because football is huge in this country. I saw loads of buses heading to Uyo as I was driving down from Warri. All of them were coming for tomorrow’s match.”
Dikko explained that the partnership is for three years, with three of TGI’s numerous products being the ones involved for now.
He added that TGI’s Big Bull Rice is now the official rice of the Super Eagles. TGI also has the option of sponsoring the Super Falcons while they will sponsor the Super Eagles man of the match in subsequent matches.
Dikko however did not disclose the monetary value of the deal, promising to provide details later.
Nigeria host Zambia in a key World Cup qualifier here in Uyo on Saturday with a win guaranteeing passage for the Super Eagles.