The director general of Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, yesterday paid a courtesy visit on the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, congratulating the federation on several successes over the years and disclosing how keen the NTDC is to partner with the football house.
“Sports tourism is huge, and football is the king of all sports. In our country and elsewhere, football is the most potent means of uniting people. The NTDC keenly desires to partner with the NFF to market Nigeria to Nigerians and to the outside world,” Mbanefo stated.
She commended the Maigari administration for taking Nigeria football to new heights, such as winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, lifting a record fourth FIFA U-17 World Cup title, qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, head coach Stephen Keshi’s emergence as Africa’s Coach of the Year and winning bronze in a first-ever appearance at the African Nations Championship.
“The essence of my message since I came into office in May, 2013, has been collaboration. We want to collaborate with NFF in so many areas to market our country. We can make use of NFF events, FIFA competitions, NTDC events and the leagues to maximum effect.
“We also have pay-off lines like ‘Why don’t you visit the land of the Super Eagles?’ and ‘Why don’t you visit the land of Mikel Obi?’ and such. All these are because the Maigari administration has worked so hard to make Nigeria a force to reckon with in the beautiful game, globally. Football is the major platform we want to use to tell the world that there is unity in Nigeria and that our country is safe.”
Responding, NFF president, Aminu Maigari, lauded the energy and enthusiasm of Mrs. Mbanefo, and agreed with her that football is the biggest unifying factor possible.
“We will collaborate with NTDC and make our players available for your noble programmes. The LMC and other leagues bodies are doing a marvelous job and things are becoming much better with our domestic football.
“The NFF will work together with you, our committees will work with you and the entire Nigeria football family will support your initiatives. We look forward to signing a Memorandum of Understanding with NTDC.”
NFF general secretary, Barr. Musa Amadu, pinpointed the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 as a huge platform for the NTDC to partner NFF in showcasing Nigeria to the world.