$10,000 US Dollars A Month For Secretary!  –Odegbami

Nigeria’s football legend, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, recently stated that he was lucky to have left Nigeria early for Europe, where he honed his natural talent and attained great heights in football. Okocha emphasized the need for good facilities and grounds for training players, experienced and knowledgeable coaches, and a strong domestic football system that can breed and churn out great players. However, Nigeria’s football development has been hindered by corrupting influences, inexperienced administrators, and a lack of investment in domestic football development.

Brazil is an example of a country that has invested in excellent training and competition facilities, proper training of coaches within their university system, and the organization of good domestic leagues. As a result, Brazil’s annual flood of some of their best young talents to Europe does not adversely affect their domestic football. Nigeria, on the other hand, only has ‘potentials’ and has to send their talented footballers abroad for refining, leaving their domestic game and leagues suffering.

The Nigeria Football Federation is reportedly crippled with debt, yet their Secretary-General earns $10,000 US Dollars a month in basic wage. This raises questions about the federation’s priorities and the allocation of funds. Meanwhile, Nigerian coaches are poorly equipped, and the federation hires third-rated foreign coaches that deplete their resources and take the country’s football nowhere.

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There has been no investment in domestic Nigerian football development for a long time, and the country needs to address these issues. To do so requires funds, which should be used to fix basic facilities for the players to train and play games, for the coaches to build their knowledge and capacity, and to invest in something tangible that will yield dividends to sustain the federation’s activities. An overhaul of Nigeria’s football architecture is necessary, and the federal government must step in immediately and halt the under-development stalling the national sport.

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