The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has lauded sportswear manufacturing giants NIKE for including women in the bonuses scheme in their newly extended 4-year contract signed with the Nigeria Football Federation in November 2018.
Dalung gave the commendation at the NIKE UK office in London where he, alongside the NFF President Mr Amaju Pinnick and 2nd Vice President Shehu Dikko attended a pre-viewing and development strategy meeting with the sportswear manufacturers to take a final decision on the proposed National Teams’ new kits and apparel design due to be unveiled by summer 2020 for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“I must commend NIKE for adding Nigeria’s women’s national teams in the bonuses to your new contract signed with with the NFF in November 2018 as well as the general improved terms of the contract which shows NIKE’s huge interest and belief in the Nigeria market.
“I am also impressed with Nike for the opportunity to pre- view the options made available to us to choose from. It is the 2nd time Nigerians are being brought to the table to be part of the designs selection before the production of jerseys for our national teams.
“This has given us a sense of belonging and participation as Nigerians are very passionate about their national colours.
“On behalf of the federal government of Nigeria, we thank you for your partnership and support to the NFF. We will work to sustain and support it because of its benefits to our football and indeed our people.”
The sports minister also urged the sportswear manufacturers to make the jerseys available and accessible to Nigerians through mapped out outlets across the country and beyond and assured NIKE of all the support needed.
In his remarks, the NFF President Mr Amaju Pinnick assured NIKE that the NFF will strive to protect their partnership by keeping to the terms of their contract.
He commended Nike as he hoped for a more robust partnership to project Nigeria at the 2020 Olympics and beyond.
“The success of the last jerseys produced by NIKE took the government and Nigerians by storm and they are all interested in the quality and grade of the next one hence, our insistence that the Minister of Sports must be here to superintend over our choice of jerseys for the national teams for the 2020 Olympic Games and report back to the government.”
The Sports Marketing Director African Football, NIKE, Tina Salminen thanked the Nigerian delegation for their cooperation while promising to build a strong craft that will reflect the youthful culture of Nigerians in the production of the sports wears.
She also assured the minister of NIKE’s satisfaction with the contract with the NFF and the overall management of the affairs with NFF which informed NIKE’s signing of a new long term contract with the NFF in November 2018 as they view Nigeria as one of their headline brands.
Nike further briefed the minister on their plans to activate the new contract including opening of several outlets across the country as well as online stores to ensure the availability of the Kits and merchandise to the fans. She reiterated NIKE’s investment in Nigeria as long term and will ensure its continuous success in partnership with the NFF and with support from the government.
Apart from the artistically designed home and away jerseys for the teams, the women will also be beneficiaries of monetary incentives in the reviewed contract.
Super Eagles midfielder Ndidi Wilfred and former Golden Eaglets Coach Fanny Amun MON also attended the meeting.