…as Pinnick says NFF now 75% self funded
…Onyema says deal will enhance unity among Nigerians
Posted by Sade Williams
Nigeria’s largest airline, Air Peace has become the official airline sponsor of Nigerian national teams as it signed a sponsorship deal worth N300 million with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), on Wednesday.
The deal, according to Allen Onyema, chairman of Air Peace, who spoke at the signing ceremony held in Lagos, is for four years but starting with one year and renewable.
He said he decided to go into such deals because he sees Nigeria as one, and deals with national teams go a long way in promoting unity among Nigerians.
While preaching hope and unity, he said he has used all his businesses to promote nationalism and oneness, adding that the core of Air Peace’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is to promote unity and restore hope among the citizens.
While urging the Super Eagles to defeat their opponent at Cape Verde, Onyema disclosed that the airline has also been sponsoring some local clubs in Anambra State, expressing readiness to partner with more leagues in Nigeria.
“I feel privileged to be among Nigeria stars today, You may want to ask: Why is Air Peace at this austerity period, apart from increasing staff salaries, taking up thus huge venture like this? It is for one reason. I have decided to be part of NFF not only because the Amaju Pinnick leadership is breaking barriers but it is also because I want to use this platform to restore hope to this country.
” People are loosing hope in this country but it is a great country, some countries are envious of our successes. We need to support anything that will bring hope, we know that whenever the national team plays against another team, we are in unity to see that they win, we do not speak about tribes when they play. I want you to have hope in this country, our population should be our strength not our albatross. If we continue to profess ethnicity, it is a recipe for disaster, The USA also has its own diversity, we only need to stop the blame game and proffer solution”, he said.
While calling on other investors to take up clubs in the country in order to develop them , he said: “Air Peace is proud of this country and we will do everything possible to support the NFF, we hope the Super Eagles qualify for Qatar 2022, we will support you all the way. We are looking for local clubs to support too, we want to bring back the joys of those days, I also call on investors to invest their CSR in some of the clubs.
Onyema used the medium to announce plans by the airline to roll out some brand new aircraft manufactured in 2021, saying that Air Peace has the capacity to compete favourably with foreign airlines.
Responding, Chairman of NFF, Amaju Pinnick, described the deal as a historic one, adding that the airline stands for unity and nationalism.
According to him, the feats achieved by the airline three years ago by singlehandedly airlifting Nigerians from South Africa was a testimony to its nationalistic outlook.
He disclosed that the NFF has been approached by various brands but the Air Peace brand stands out as a super brand.
“The Air Peace brand is not just a growing brand but a strong and super brand, we will protect and project whatever we sign here today, we are grateful to the airline for the support, it is all about the unity of Nigeria. The deal is fund-based, it will be ploughed back to the players, it is a huge impact on them. The deal is worth N300 million and cash component is N200 million”, he said.