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Nigerian Football

Air Peace adds wings to Super Eagles

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Pinnick, Onyema (third frm right), Falode (second left), Kheiri (second from right) and couple of airline crew. 

For the first time in its 72-year history Nigeria’s national football team, the Super Eagles as well as the other arms of Nigeria national football teams, now has official air carrier.

This is sequel to the Nigeria Football Federation sealing  a partnership agreement with Air Peace thus making the frontline indigeous airline company the Official Airline Sponsor of Nigerian National Teams.

According to a media release by the NFF,  President of the football governing body Amaju Melvin Pinnick described the unique partnership  as “an ordained union of two super brands.”

At a short but impressive ceremony held at the Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Pinnick and Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema dwelt on the strength inherent in Nigeria’s diversity, and the opportunities and possibilities flowing in a country of 200 million people with 378 different nationalities, and football as the strongest unifying force.

“Air Peace epitomizes unity, patriotism, humanity and selflessness. Ourselves at the NFF have followed not only the meteoric rise of the company but its patriotic fervour and sense of nationalism. It is an organization that believes firmly in the Nigeria project, just as we do.

“This contract covers all the National Teams, from the Super Eagles to the junior teams.

“Let me say it here that the Super Eagles will be flying to Cape Verde on Monday for their FIFA World Cup qualifier in the latest brand of aircraft just acquired by Air Peace.

“The NFF is happy to partner with this highly responsible organization that has Nigeria at the heart of everything it does.” He also assured that NFF will keep to the letter and spirit of the contract.

Onyema, who spoke at length on the power of football and the glory locked in Nigeria’s humongous human and material resources, said his company was delighted to have the opportunity to work with the NFF and the National Teams.

“We decided to partner with the NFF not just because we are enamoured by the hard work and resilience of Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick in improving the lot of Nigeria’s football on the pitch and in the boardroom, but also because we passionately seek a platform to give Nigerians hope.

“Football is a huge unifying force everywhere and the same is true of our country.”

Onyema said Air Peace has the capacity to compete with the best airlines in the world, and would offer top-of-the-range services to the various National Teams.

The contract is for one-year, renewable for four years and worth N200million with separate Value-In-Kind in the worth of N100million.

Also at the occasion were Ms Aisha Falode (NFF Executive Committee and Chairman of the Nigeria Women Football League);  Charity Kadiri (NFF Director of Finance and Admin); Ademola Olajire (NFF Director of Communications);  Okey Obi (NFF Director of Legal);  Alizor Chuks (NFF’s Head of Marketing); Neda Kheiri (Head of Marketing, Air Peace) and; Peggy Iheagwam (Head of Human Resources)

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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