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April 20, 2024
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NNL begs NASS, Presidency for budgetary funding

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By Emmanuel Jonathan

The Nigeria National League (NNL) has urged the National Assembly (NASS) to consider putting forward a bill that will address the issues of non-statutory budgetary funding for leagues in the country.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ayo Abdulrahaman, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.

“If this can be legislated upon and a law is made to that effect, things will get better for us; from that we can improve on our infrastructure and other sports facilities that are in bad shape,” he said.

He appealed to NASS and President Bola Tinubu-led government to consider the request due to the role football played in the unity of the country.

“It will not be out of place if a segment or a percentage of funds from either TetFund or any other source is remitted for the funding of the activities of leagues in our country.”

“Providing a statutory budgetary sponsorship for the NNL will bring out the best in the league.

“Sports Committee in the House of Representatives and the Senate should help us to do the needful to ensure the NNL in particular and Nigerian leagues in general thrive like other countries,” he added.

The NNL COO said approved government statutory budgetary sponsorship for their leagues existed in other countries and that had informed their sterling performance.

“We are the most important league in the country because we are at the center feeding the Premier League and the Nationwide League One (NLO), with clubs doing well and those not doing well.

“We really need support to be able to address the issues of indemnity and also support clubs that are facing financial challenges.”

He said that the league had yet to secure any sponsorship from any organisation, adding that the only source of income it had was from registration of clubs and little grants.

According to Abdulrahaman, some countries are experiencing economic meltdown, but how it affects Nigeria is different from other countries.

“The indices are different, but I don’t think we can separate a league played in the country from the country’s economy.

“There is no constitutional provision or Act legislated upon for the sponsorship of the Nigeria National League,” he added.

He also appealed to Nigerians and corporate organisations to come to their aid by sponsoring their programmes.

The NNL boss said that the league was open for negotiation with any would-be-sponsors of the league.

He said that the league also needed to partner with television stations in the country to strengthen the league and make it visible.

This, he said would enable the people to be aware of the programmes and problems of the league. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Emmanuel Afonne

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