Nigeria’s biggest airline, Air Peace, Wednesday, signed a four-year partnership deal with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) becoming the exclusive airline sponsor of the country’s national teams.
The deal is worth N300m annually renewable every year for the next four years.
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Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema signed the deal with the President of NFF, Amaju Pinnick with officials of both organizations in attendance.
The NFF President was also in the company of Super Eagles stars Alex Iwobi, Tyrone Ebuehi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Joe Aribo.
With the partnership, the airline would fly the Nigerian players and officials to Cape Verde with its new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft.
Pinnick said with the partnership, the NFF has become 75 per cent self-funded, stressing that the desire of the federation is to become 100 per cent self-funded.
According to him, this would be a reality in the next two weeks with two more partnership deals in the offing.
He said, ”Air Peace is not only 100% about safety but it is an organization with a human heart. We have noticed their rise meteorically and we are convinced that this coming together is ordained by God Almighty.”
The NFF President stated that the federation had been approached by many international brands, but said it believed in the Air Peace as a truly indigenous airline.
”What we have signed, we are going to protect it. We want to attain 100 per cent self-funding and that is our dream.
“We will be signing another major contract tomorrow (Thursday) and by then we will be 90 per cent self-funding. In another four weeks, we are signing another contract that will liberate us and move us to the level where we are 100 per cent self-funding,” he added.
Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema explained that the decision to sign the contract despite the current austerity in the aviation sector was hinged on the airline’s desire to be part of the success stories of the Super Eagles.
He said he was desirous of using the platform of Air Peace to restore hope in Nigeria.
He said any support for Super Eagles to triumph amounted to restoring hope in the country as all Nigerians are united with their support for Air Peace.
He said, “I decided to be part of what NFF is doing today, not because of their hard work, resilience, breaking barriers to make sure that Nigerian football is in the forefront globally but principally because I want to use the platform that God has given me to restore hope in this country.
“A lot of people are in despair. People are losing hope in the country. I plead with you not to lose hope in this country. It is a great country. Other countries of this world are envious of Nigeria.
“So, we need to support anything that will give Nigerians hope and in the Super Eagles, the national teams of Nigeria, we find hope. Whenever the national teams are playing, everybody professes Nigeria.
“What does that tell you? It tells you that people of 378 ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria want to be together.”
According to him, whatever challenges Nigeria is facing can be resolved through dialogue.
He stressed the need to stop the blame game, saying, “I believe we can get the country working.”