The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and GTI Capital Group at the weekend affirmed their commitments to work together for the development and activation of the Nigerian football economy for increased contribution to the nation’s output level.

The NFF President,  Mr. Amaju Pinnick, had at the weekend led other board members of the football governing body on a courtesy visit to GTI Capital Group at its head office in Marina, Lagos. Other board members at the visit included Vice President, Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Seyi Akinwunmi and Mr Akin Majekodunmi, a board member.

Group Managing Director, GTI Capital Limited, Mr. Abubakar Lawal, said the investment banking group is committed to the development of a “football economy” in Nigeria by investing in key infrastructure and resources that will help to engender sustainable development of the Nigerian football industry.

According to him, GTI Capital is leading private-sector initiatives that will change the face of football in Nigeria by harnessing the globally renowned passion of Nigerians for football into mutually beneficial investment vehicles that simultaneously drive football development and reward passionate supporters and investors in football.

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Pinnick commended ongoing initiatives at GTI Capital, noting that a strategic partner like the investment banking group would complement the efforts aimed at transforming football in Nigeria.  He said the NFF under him is determined to make a difference in football governance in Nigeria and as such, will need the support of committed private sector partners like GTI Capital.

According to him, with his re-election as the NFF President, he is more determined to pursue serious initiatives that will take Nigeria’s football to the next level in order to leave behind a strong legacy.

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He said his interactions with the GTI Capital have shown that the company is on the right track to help transform the Nigerian football landscape and build a virile “football economy”, which will undoubtedly energize fresh opportunities for all stakeholders.

In his remarks, Managing Director, GTI Asset Management & Trust Limited, Mr Amos Aledare, noted that in today’s world, football has been evolving as a distinct economic sector and major revenue earner in countries where its capacity to deliver this contribution has been properly recognized and harnessed.

He lamented that football has unfortunately remained an untapped tool for economic development in Nigeria, expressing optimism that the collaboration between NFF and GTI Capital would lead to a rebirth of the Nigerian football sector.

He added that the GTI Capital-NFF partnership represents a new dawn for the Nigerian football industry.

In his contribution, Chief Operating Officer, GTI Capital Limited, Mr. Kehinde Hassan explained that football, being the most popular sport in the world is run as a business in developed countries.

He outlined that the round leather game has been a veritable source of income in many countries including England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France among others.

Chief Economist & Head, Corporate Transformation, GTI Capital Limited, Prof. Martin Ike-Muonso, noted that with a fan base of approximately 85 per cent of Nigerians, the translation of the passion to commerce being championed by GTI Capital would create employments, earn governments more revenue in tax, more foreign exchange, improve supporting infrastructure and generally formalize a football economy