NEITI Joins Calls For Indigenous Super Eagles’ Coach


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...Says Dependency On Foreign Coaches Another Source Of Capital Flight

In an apparent move to prevent overreliance on foreign coaches for the Super Eagles, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has joined the calls by well-meaning Nigerians for an indigenous coach to lead the national team.

Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, made the call at the NEITI House while receiving a delegation from the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Abuja Branch on a courtesy visit.

He explained that the nation stands to gain tremendously by allowing local coaches to lead the national teams especially the Super Eagles adding that indigenous coaches are familiar with our culture, largely products of our local football leagues, quite familiar with our local environments where raw talents in football seeking for exposure are hidden and are in the best position to locate them.

“I, therefore join the call to urge the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to use the current window of opportunity now open to give our local coaches a chance to show what they can offer, give them required support, allow them to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and grow. As a prominent sporting nation, we should set the example of giving the right of first refusal to the local coaches that emerge through international competitive bid”, the NEITI boss reaffirmed.

He lamented that the current dependency on foreign coaches is similar to Nigeria’s over-dependency on oil and the country’s appetite for foreign-made goods which Dr. Orji regretted have frustrated our economic diversification and growth of indigenous industries.

Dr. Orji further explained that NEITI as a transparency organisation is concerned that at this time when the country is confronted with a scarcity of foreign exchange, dependency on foreign coaches is another source of capital flight and an avoidable drain on the nation’s scarce foreign exchange reserves.

“NEITI is deeply concerned because sports has become an important element of state power globally, huge investment gold mines, source of employment to our talented youths, source of foreign direct investments as we have seen in English football. It is also a major source of revenue generation for low and middle-income families and poverty reduction in developing countries and a beacon of hope for national unity in Nigeria”. Dr. Orji remarked.

He advised SWAN to commence a national campaign on investing on national talents for the sustainable growth and development of sports in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary further noted that NEITI has a legitimate interest in the rapid development of sports in Nigeria in view of the strong linkage between prudent management of oil, gas, and mining revenues which NEITI is committed to, and the availability of resources for the development of sports facilities nationwide.

“NEITI seeks to work with all segments of the society to draw national and international attention to the need to ensure that oil, gas, and mining resources revenues are transparently deployed to improve citizens’ standard of living through investments in critical and social infrastructure such as roads, power, healthcare, educational infrastructure, security of lives and property and recreational facilities which are essential in Nigeria as a leading sporting nation.

At the top of recreational facilities, is the development of sports especially football that unites our nation more than any other”, Dr. Orji reiterated.

Responding, the Chairman of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Abuja Branch, Mr. Ndubueze Chidoka welcomed the suggestions put forward by the NEITI Executive Secretary and pledged to work closely with NEITI to promote wider indigenous participation and talent hunt for players and encouragement of local coaches, transparency and accountability in the country’s sports administration.

The SWAN chairman appealed to the NEITI Executive Secretary to inculcate sports as an important activity in NEITI operations through collaboration with the association through organised sporting events.

The Abuja SWAN chairman highlighted the importance of sports writers and their valued contributions to the nation’s sports development and accomplishments and urged them to help seek public and private support for the association in areas of training and sponsorship to major international competitions.

Mr. Chidoka welcomed NEITI’s interest in building a stronger relationship with the association to promote transparency and accountability in sports administration in Abuja Chapter and the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria in general.


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