President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has revealed that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has expressed an interest in partnering with the NFF to invest in the development of Nigerian football.
Dangote, who has made no secret of his interest in buying Arsenal, was a guest of Pinnick and the NFF at the FIFA Best Awards in London on Monday night, along with fellow Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola.
“Alhaji Dangote is perhaps the biggest business brand in Africa, and one of Nigeria’s leading Ambassadors,” Pinnick said in a statement released by the NFF. “I am very happy to be in a position to invite himself and Mr. Otedola to such an event of global stature and essence.”
During the ceremony, the NFF President discussed Nigerian football with both men and was pleased at the outcome of the conversations, which had the aim of selling the nation’s football to the pair.
“The NFF has invited Alhaji Dangote to a couple of matches previously, including the friendly match with England in London before the FIFA World Cup in Russia, but he was unable to attend,” Pinnick continued.
“Now, we are discussing with him on a relationship with Nigerian Football and he is showing immense interest.
“As a nation, it is important that we continue to showcase our best brands in all fields. Doing this enhances the stock of our country globally.
“Dangote and Mr. Otedola were happy to meet the world’s top governors of football, and the football governors were also happy to meet them.
“Our objective as a Football Federation is to attain financial autonomy so that the Government can channel resources otherwise taken up by football into other critical sectors, and we believe that if we have persons like Dangote and Otedola partnering with Nigerian Football, we will get there faster,” said Pinnick, who is also the 1st Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Dangote is the President of Dangote Group, and is ranked as the richest person of African descent in the world. The Dangote Group has interests in various commodities in Nigeria and other African countries.
Otedola, chairman of Forte Oil and Zenon Petroleum amongst other interests, is an oil baron in Nigeria, and is reportedly a candidate for governor of Lagos State.
A notable football lover, Dangote is reportedly worth over $15 billion.