Godfrey Gaiya warns NFF: Stop depending on government funds

The chair of the House of Representatives sports committee vows that the NFF bill if passed will solve funding problems

The chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports, Honourable Godfrey Gaiya has advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to put their house in order as well as look beyond the Federal Government’s subventions for funding their programs.

Speaking on the controversies bedevilling the Football House after the Super Eagles won the last Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, the legislator fumed at the situation where the NFF is crying for lack of funds instead of utilizing the advantage of being African champions to woo sponsors to invest in Nigeria football.

Gaiya also wants the NFF not to be over-reliant on government subventions which according to him “will never be enough to fund all the eight national football teams that the NFF caters for in their fiscal budget.”

He, however believes that all these funding problems and others would be finally put to an end when the NFF bill is passed into law by the National Assembly.

“I believe that the Nigeria Football Federation has every potential to be making substantial money from private sector. But I keep saying that you don’t get sponsors for a bad product. Before Afcon 2013 Nigeria was never here nor there. Some small football playing nations were even rated high above Nigeria in FIFA rankings then,” Gaiya told Goal.com.

“So if you are ranked 53 in the FIFA World rankings and you are competing with nations ranked no 1 to 10, you should know that very serious sponsors would prefer to go and spend their money on the best ten nations in the world. But now that our ranking is improving, I believe that they can get better deals and by that get more money.

“As long as they can make money outside the government, the better for the NFF. I also keep telling the NFF that as regards the issue of funding, shine your eyes, there are better monies to be made outside government. But it is easier [for them] to go to the government and beg for money. But the NFF should shine their eyes do what is right and put their house in order because no sponsor would want to put his money in a house of rancour and where litigation abound.

“I think these are the little things that are discouraging and scaring away sponsors from investing their money in Nigerian football. I believe that when we have our bill the NFF will then have a good platform to operate.

“Also with the bill in place the confidence of our sponsors would be enhanced and the sponsors will believe that they are dealing with a Federation fully backed up (by the existing laws of the land),” Gaiya said.