The Chairman of the sports committee of the House of Representatives, Hon. Goni Bukar Lawan on Tuesday made a strong appeal to Nigeria’s sporting media to project the sector positively in order to encourage the corporate world to invest in football and other sports.
Lawan, in company with members of his committee including former NFF Board Member Ayo Omidiran, made the appeal in Abuja, at the 2015 Budget Performance and 2016 Budget Proposal review of the Nigeria Football Federation and the League Management Company.
“I have listened to the presentation by the NFF President and I see his point on the need for positive reporting of football, and indeed, other sports so that Corporate Nigeria can show more interest in sponsorship of sports.
“Projecting sports positively can help the various sports federations, especially the Nigeria Football Federation, to get good sponsorship that will reduce the burden of bankrolling football on the Government,” contended Lawan.
Earlier, NFF President Amaju Pinnick had praised the Committee for its marvelous work and support for the programs of the Nigeria Football Federation, while appealing for even greater support for the programs of 2016.
“We have nothing against constructive criticisms, as I have always made a point that such criticisms make individuals and institutions stronger by forcing them to introspect now and again. But what we are against is destructive criticism.
“This year, we have so many important matches, including the four concluding qualifying matches for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and the two opening qualification matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. There are also the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, the African Women Championship and the men’s football tournament of the Olympic Games.
“The present NFF is desirous of leaving a legacy of massive corporate support for football, which will reduce the burden on government, and we are engaged in aggressive marketing towards that. But our cause is not being bolstered by negative mentions here and there, as well as the poor state of the economy.”
Pinnick added that, “given the importance of football as the strongest unifier of our peoples across various geographical and mental divides, it is time that we declared football a national treasure.”
Also at the review were NFF 2nd Vice President/LMC chairman, Mr. Shehu Dikko, NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi and LMC’s chief operating officer Salihu Abubakar.