The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has described sports as a significant factor in engendering unity and national cohesion among Nigerians.
Dr. Baru stated this while hosting the Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, at the NNPC Towers, on Tuesday.
“It is a fact that sports, especially football, enjoys an occultic followership in Nigeria. This is very good as it can be used to further unite Nigerians across all interests,” Baru stated.
He described as “unique” NTA’s quest to further champion and promote unity and stability among all Nigerians from all walks of life, in line with the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He said the NNPC and NTA have come a long way in their mutual, symbiotic relationship, a development which has ensured Nigerians and other stakeholders remain constantly educated on happenings within the Corporation and by extension, the oil and gas sector.
While congratulating Nigeria’s national senior men’s football team (Super Eagles) for qualifying for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2019), Baru assured the national broadcaster of NNPC’s support towards ensuring that Nigerians watch their darling team live during the continental soccer showpiece.
“We shall look at your proposal and see where we can partner with you within the ambit of our modest resources, towards ensuring that Nigerians are further united during the upcoming AFCON 2019 in Egypt,” the GMD stated.
Earlier in his remarks, the DG NTA, Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, said his mission to NNPC was to seek for support towards broadcasting the 52 matches of the AFCON 2019 live on the NTA Network Service for the viewing pleasure and pride of all Nigerians.
He said having secured the exclusive, €1.8million, free-to-air rights from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to market and broadcast the forthcoming AFCON 2019 in Egypt 2019, the NTA needed to collaborate with the corporate world towards meeting the financial obligations of the contract.
“We specifically want to ensure that Nigerians experience the glorious moments that will be provided by AFCON 2019 in Egypt. I am optimistic that such moments will further unite us as a nation in line with Federal Government’s objectives,” Mohammed stated.
Having last played in, and won the AFCON six years ago, Nigeria’s Super Eagles are participating at the 32nd edition of the tournament which kicks off on Friday, 21stJune 2019.
Group General Manager