Shehu Dikko appeals to governors for stadia facilities upgrade

The nation's league body has urged state governments to improve on the standard of their stadia facilities towards the growth of the Nigeria topflight

The League Management Company has appealed to state governors to support the growth of football with the upgrading of stadium facilities in their states.

Chairman of the LMC, Shehu Dikko believes Nigeria would march the giant strides recorded by top football leagues in Europe like England if the governors fund infrastructural upgrade and provide broadcast equipments at the stadia.  

"Since the LMC came on board, our funding has been sourced from commercial partnerships which is the practice globally and while we appreciate the companies that have bought rights from us," Dikko said on AIT.

"We are still not where we should be financially which explains our recent visit with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to the Nigeria Stock Exchange", Dikko said on the program," he continued.

"In the 1990's, the government of Margareth Thatcher in the UK provided over £200m for the upgrading of stadia facilities across England and that contributed critically to what we have today as the best League in the world, and today the UK Government is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the EPL, generating billions of pounds in taxes, football tourism, jobs and other socio-economic activities that are hinged on the EPL in the UK.

"We also would seek government's intervention in this direction and we are not asking for funds to be handed to anyone but for government to directly fund the upgrade of existing grounds and provision of required broadcast equipments and facilities in the stadiums". 

"We are aware of the seeming preference for foreign football but it is not just football, Nigerians buy foreign cars instead of from PAN, we buy foreign rice instead of local rice etc, but we are working on winning back the minds of the people. 

"It is also not peculiar to Nigeria, go to Malaysia, China, Emirates and even at some point in Germany and Spain, everyone is trying not to compete with the English league."

He also revealed that the LMC have launched plans to sourcing sponsorship for the clubs in the Nigeria Professional Football League as part of initiatives to improve the league.

"More importantly, we are seeking pool sponsorship for all 20 clubs so their finances will improve and consequently, the welfare of players as well as drive the commercialisation of the clubs so as to make them attractive to investors," he concluded.