Just As the Nigerian league continues to aspire to be one of the best in the world, Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) Mallam Shehu Dikko is appealing for patience as he reveals more exportation of players as solution for league to attain greater heights.
Dikko made this assertion at the Symposium of the FCT Branch of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), held Wednesday inside the press center of the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
Shehu Dikko says that the focus of the clubs should not solely be about winning laurels but producing more players for exportation to Europe.
“It is not just about winning laurels playing tournaments and stuffs like that. No. What is the economic impact of football in this country. How many jobs are we creating. What is our contribution to the GDP at the end of the day.”
“How many players are we shipping aboard every year. Those are my vision. As at last week we were doing a research with a very big firm that’s trying to partner the league and they came with their analysis.
“In the main stream Europe as at today, does anybody knows how many players we have, in the entire Europe now, we have just over three hundred (300) players registered in the leagues.”
“With the number of people we have in Nigeria and the way we are thinking everyone is travelling abroad, we should be able to contribute at least 10 % to 20 % percent of the export of players globally.”
“Because if you do that, our country will be better, they’ll earn money and send it back home. So that’s the vision we are working on. To make football an economy that employ the youth,” he postulated.
He also revealed that the NPFL is worth 88 Billion Naira, which he thinks is still some way off the target.
“For the first time for example, we have got experts to value the Nigeria league. Just recently , we were talking with some partners that are trying to come on board, they have to hire experts who value leagues all over the world, From University of Sheffield , they came here took all the data from the clubs, their accounts taken from us, they sent to London and they came back to give us a value based on the account filed by the clubs, this is the value of the league. The value is 88 Billion.”
He however called for patience, admitting that they have fallen behind in standard.
“But at the end of the day, what we crave for is that people should be patient with us. I know there are a lot of disappointment. People want things to happen quickly. They’re judging us with what we have achieved before which are not happening now but, at least we know where we’re going, it’s just a matter of and everything will be fine.”
The NPFL new season is set to kickoff on December 17.