19th August, 2015
The High Commission of the United Kingdom in Nigeria has pledged to support the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, in its drive to build capacity of critical workers in Nigeria football, towards taking the Nigeria game to heights never previously imagined.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday when a delegation of the NFF, led by its President, Amaju Pinnick, paid him a courtesy visit, the Acting High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Nigeria, Mr. Simon Shercliff expressed delight at the youthfulness of the new NFF leadership and their huge passion to improve the stock of the Nigeria game globally.
“Let me pledge that the UK High Commission will be positively disposed to giving support wherever and whenever necessary, once it is something we can do.”
Earlier, NFF President Amaju Pinnick had delved into the history of the union between United Kingdom and Nigeria, concluding that Nigeria will not able to write its history without a good mention of the United Kingdom.
“Our countries have a history of collaboration. Our Executive Committee has so much passion to do things in a much different way to how things were being done in the past, because we are committed to achieving results.
“To this end, we realize that credibility, transparency, accountability and integrity are key tenets that we must hold onto without fail. We were able to get globally –renowned companies like PricewaterHouseCoopers, Bain and Co and Financial Derivatives to work with us because we want to entrench transparency and accountability in the running of Nigeria football.”
Pinnick enunciated his administration’s short-term, medium-term and long-term objectives, and insisted that capacity –building programs embarked upon by the NFF in the UK and elsewhere has transformed particularly the domestic League to the pleasant surprise of all.
NFF 2nd Vice President/LMC Chairman, Mr. Shehu Dikko disclosed that cordial relationship between the Nigeria League and the English Premiership dates back to 2005, when the EPL and the Nigeria Professional League signed a working agreement.
“Since then, we have had great relationship. We have on three occasions invited the EPL chairman to Nigeria to talk at symposia, and other persons from the EPL as well. Also, in 2008, we brought Manchester United and Portsmouth from the UK to Nigeria to play Nigeria League champions Kano Pillars in Abuja.”
At the meeting were Pinnick, Shercliff, Dikko, High Chief Emeka Inyama and Mrs Dilichukwu Onyedinma (NFF Board members), Dr. Mohammed Sanusi (NFF General Secretary), Salihu Abubakar (LMC COO), Ibrahim Dambatta (LMC member), Ademola Olajire (NFF Head of Communications), Nasiru Jibril (personal assistant to NFF President) and Aliyu Lawal Ibrahim (personal assistant to NFF GS).
By Shercliff’s side were Andrew Fleming (UK High Commission deputy head of political section/ECOWAS), and Nigel Holmes (political officer, northern Nigeria).