As part of efforts at bringing lasting improvement to Nigeria’s football, United Kingdom-based Gilgal Capital is set to inject a handsome $1.5 billion into the Nigerian League in a period spanning 20 years.
At a media parley in Ikeja, the Chief Executive of Arabella 21st Century limited, Otunba Femmy Carrena, whose company brokered the deal with Gilgal Capital said, hopefully, in the next 18 months all grey areas would have been tidied up.
“Running football involves huge finances and that is why we need investors that would put in the kind of capital that can take our football to the level where we all dream of,” Carrena said.
According to him, the primary area the investors needed is the league, saying Nigerian football would not be the same if such money was pumped into it.
Asked why he took the proposal to the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalong, and not the Nigeria Football Federation or the custodian of the league-League Management Company, LMC, Carrena said: “We needed a guarantor that was why we met with the Sports Minister and the federal government that provided the enabling environment for the investors to operate. We don’t want the investors to be discouraged at the initial stage.
“The investors are not coming in to distort the existing status but rather to discourage government’s involvement in football. We want to discourage situations whereby clubs go cap in hand to the government.”
Speaking further, the Chief Executive of Arabella 21st Century limited said funding had been the major thing that had kept the Nigerian league down.
He said further that 20 per cent of the fund would be from the public raised through Initial Public Offer, IPO.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian representative of Gilgal Capital, Babatunde Aina said the complex nature of Nigeria was an initial hindrance to Gilgal Capital investing in Nigeria.
“The complex nature of Nigeria was an initial hindrance to investing in Nigerian football, but one cannot, however, ignore the large market of the country.
“Some requirements had to be met before we put our money in Nigerian football but Arabella had put a structure that would make it work. It is a public driven thing with government being just a regulator,” Aina said.