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Investment in Football Capable of Growing Nigeria’s Economy – Abubakar Lawal, GMD, GTI Group

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Photos by Ken Ehimen

In the face of several challenges that have in recent times befuddled optimal performance in Nigerian football, preparations for the Russia 2018 Mundial has succinctly buttressed the importance of investing in the sector, which holds great economic potentials for the country.

This fact was made bare at the GTI’s first Football Townhall Meeting with investment and finance analysts, policy makers; finance and sports journalists in a brainstorming session on football and its subservience to economic development, at the GTI House in Lagos on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

MD GTI Asset Management, Mr. Amos Aledare

Speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, GTI Capital Group, Mr. Abubakar Lawal tasked Nigerians to see the period as best time to invest in sporting activities, especially football as a business that is capable of growing the nation’s economy.

Engineer Adewunmi Adeyemo, MD GTI Micro-finance Bank, Mrs. Hauwa Haruna-Sheidi with a guest

The GMD hinted that, “Apart from oil production in the country, football and other sports competitions have occupied a vantage position in building the desired economy for the country. He reaffirmed the need to shift attention to sporting activities from oil”.

He pointed out that with possible combination of football and oil exploration development, the nation could easily tackle the high rate of poverty level which currently stands at 60.7 percent, grow the GDP and position Nigerian economy on strong pedestal.

Answering questions on how the country missed it, Lawal identified government’s succession problem, negative perceptions against the country and its citizenry, corruption, nationalist problems and other sharp practices like bending the rules as responsible for sports underdevelopment in Nigeria, pointing out that sports provided a veritable platform for public and private sectors to make money for the country and citizens.

Finance Director GTI Group, Mr. Boye Adegbemi with Engr. Adewunmi Adeyemo

On his own part, the Chief Economist/Head, Corporate Transformation, GTI, Professor Martin Ike-Muonso, argued that football in Nigeria served as a means of social cohesion and the building of the communities.

According to him, as at 2012, about 43 million Nigerian youths were actively involved in sports with official statistics suggesting that about 93 percent of this number were involved largely in football.

He said, “3.53 percent of these numbers were professionals while the rest were involved solely for recreational purposes as fans. This is consistent with 2014 Repucom world football report which equally found out that about 85 percent choose football as the favorite sports to watch on TV.

Mr. Nnamdi Obi with Mrs. Olufunke Tona-Obafemi

He further harped on the enormous economic benefits of the game to the country quoting its stupendous accrual to the UK economy.

“The premier league presents a fantastic example of the prospects held by the football economy. The league’s economic impact on the UK economy shows that it improves the national economy by 6.2 billion pounds; domestic output by 3.4billion pounds and 2.4billion pounds in taxes. Over 6000 jobs are directly provided by the league while it supports the provision of more than 103 thousand jobs across the UK through the clubs.”

Mr. Pius Ayinor

Elaborating on the course to take while investing in the sector, Professor Martin averred that;

“A mutual fund type investment vehicle that focuses exclusively on establishing a vibrant football ecosystem may be a good stimulator of these initiatives. Such a vehicle should be able to use the extant tremendous support base to translate the value chains in the sub sector into vibrant generators of surplus values. Substantial parts of funds should be invested in the upgrade of football infrastructure and real estate such as stadia. It should also support the emergence of vibrant clubs and construction and implementation of adequate safety nets for current and past players and eventually birth a private sector driven league”.

Mr. Pius Ayinor, GMD GTI Group, Mr. Abubakar Lawal, Lagos SWAN Chairman, Mr. Debo Oshundun with Group Sports Editor, The SUN Newspapers, Mr. Emma Jemegah

The Managing Director, GTI Asset Management and Trust Limited, Mr. Amos Aledare, listed public, private participation in growing football, encouraging rural talents, personal interest on the side of the coaches, signing of age long football strategic plans and strengthening policy framework in favour of football as leeway to getting back the desired benefits of playing football.

He also called on other stakeholders to commence with immediate effect, major restructuring and investment in the sub-sector and in line with best practices.

Chief Economist and Head, Corporate Transformation, Prof. Martins Ike-Muonso

Several other inputs from participants in the Football Town hall meeting emphasized the need for corporate institutions involvement in football, abstinence of personal interest of the coaches to uphold national interest, a detour to the grassroots to raise talents, an end to legal tussles in NFF, an end to setting up of football clubs mainly as means of siphoning funds from Government etc.

Company Secretary, GTI Group, Ms Omotayo Akapo with MD GTI Micro-finance Bank, Mrs. Hauwa Haruna-Sheidi

Other suggestions to move the game ahead were; calling on government to come up with policies that will enhance private participation, promote  conducive business environment to enable local production of kits and jerseys,  Infrastructural development, playing by the rule and kick out corruption, creating efficient  system that will allow private businesses to come in, following the best practice as done by the rest of the world while  restoring investors’ confidence, integrity and transparency in order to put the world number one sport on proper track in the country.

 

 

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Events

Buhari, Osinbajo, Dantata, Sultan, Ooni, Govs, Others Headline Oluwo’s Book Launch

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Arrangements are in top gear to mark the 7th year coronation anniversary of the Natural Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, HIM Oba (Dr.) Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi next Monday 16th January,2023.

The event scheduled to hold at Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos will witness the unveiling of his book “Code of Kings”written to register a pathway for the black race in the traditional institution. Nigerians from all walks of life will grace the occasion.

The Chief Executive Officer of Peculiar Ultimate Concern Limited, Engr. Abel Lanre Adeleke is the chairman of the event while Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman of Sifax Group is the Chief Launcher.

A statement released by Oluwo through his press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, further revealed other dignitaries expected at the occasion ” President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammed Buhari, his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Kano born business mogul, Aminu Dantata, , , Sultan of Sokoto, AlhajiSa’adu Abubakar, Ooni of Ife , HIM Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Alhaji Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Governor Dapp Abiodun of Ogun State, Governor Abiodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State, former Governor of Osun State, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and few other Governors from Northern part of Nigeria are to grace the event”

Notable Royal Fathers, serving federal and state legislators, captains of industries, friends of Oluwo from Canada, United Kingdom, leading entrepreneurs, academic professors and doctors, veteran journalists etc are billed to attend the August event.

The book will form part of Oluwo contribution,to learning,knowledge and history with the strong hope, that the it will correct some distortions in our rich history and liberate Nigerian youth from mental slavery.

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The Colourful Birthday, Empowerment Programme of Prophetess Olufunmi Lucas in Lagos

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Amiable Prophetess Olufunmi Lucas showed how compassionate she really is when she decided to splash cash on widows and the needy as part of her birthday celebrations.

The event which was held in Ilara, Epe in Lagos State was attended by many family members and friends of the ever graceful lady.

The day began with a thanksgiving session of prayers and praises which was followed by the opening of Mountain of Miracles Prayer Ground.

Then it was time for her to put smiles on many faces with donations to many widows and less privileged members of society.

In a short speech, Prophetess Lucas who was supported by her darling husband said the philanthropic exercise is a continuous process and that N14.11 million has been earmarked for touching lives.

Guests at the event included: Lagos Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya , HRM Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo & Olori Bolanle , Olori Sekinat Elegushi, Olori Mariam Ogunwusi, Tope Alabi, Caroline Adeneye, Fathia Balogun, Ademola Muyiwa, Ronke Oshodi Oke and others.

Entertainment at the event achored by Woli Agba and Bashorun Gboyega Lawal was provided by Yinka Ayefele and his band.

Pic by @koyaadegbite

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The Splendid Nuptial Ceremony Between Commentator Par Excellence, JJ Omojuwa and Demilade Odu in Lagos

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By Eric Elezuo

Blogger, and political and social commentator, Japheth Omojuwa, popularly known as JJ Omojuwa, was on Saturday September 24, 2022 launched into the space, where it is written that there is a tide in time, which must sweep the qualified. Here, in the life of the popular blogger, the life came when the obvious becomes reality.

Before  a mammoth crowd of friends, family members and we’ll wishers from all walks of life, the celebrated content creator, stylishly converted his beautiful fiancee, Demilade Odu, to an outstanding bride.

The event, which was held at Harbour Point Victoria Island, Lagos, was a roll call of the who’s who in Nigeria’s political , media and traditional lexicon.

A week earlier, the happy couple had celebrated a colourful traditional engagement ceremony in the fountain of knowledge state, Ekiti.

Filled to capacity, the Harbour Point venue boasted of top notch personalities including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; the first female Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Ibukun Awosika; business tycoon and member of the House of Representatives, Akin Alabi, and actresses Kate Henshaw and Efe Irele.

Other notable guests at the event were rapper, Remilekun Safaru, aka Reminisce; and ace comedian, Atunyota Akpobome, aka Ali Baba.

With the special presence of Timi Dakolo, whose lovely voice serenaded the atmosphere, the occasion witnessed no dull moment as both guests and couple had a swell time on the dance floor.

While the guests savoured the ceaseless flow of continental and local delicacies, in addition to choice beverages, the likes of Akinmayokun Awodumila, aka May D, and Laolu Gbenjo continued to ensure that the hall exided an ambience of solid tunes.

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