By Akeem Busari
Ekiti State Football Association, Thursday, 26th November held yet another ground breaking session in its series of webinar lectures aimed at positively changing the narratives of Ekiti State Football.
The session which was moderated by highly resourceful sports enthusiast, Dr. Tunde Akinbinu, featured one of the most erudite and experienced football administrators cum sportscaster in Nigeria, Emeka Enyadike, thoroughly delved into several aspects of football development, as he also, particularly harped on the potentials of Ekiti football and the needs for a most proactive public-private-partnership for the game in the state.
Dr. Akinbinu threw open the session with a salvo on the challenges facing Nigeria football. And the lecturer quickly responded that the biggest challenge is the structure of football in Nigeria. Stating that everything in the country’s socio-political history that the military governments disrupted remained eternally corrupted and football and sports on a broader scale went with it.
He advised that the state can attract private investment from outside with right positioning, especially, with football. Adding that the PPP concept is a great way to draw from the private sector expertise, human, capital, financial or technology and also better risks sharing.
On the ways to improve the fortunes of Ekiti Football and perhaps, Ekiti United Football Club, he opined that the same PPP framework can be applied allowing the private commercial partnerships.
He went on to acknowledge the high literacy level in Ekiti State, which he described as a good advantage in view of the new age information dissemination. As it can become a powerful tool for engagement and for reaching the harbours of investors.
Enyadike, in reactions to further probings by genuinely concerned stakeholders and members of Ekiti Football Builders Forum (EFBF), he reiterated the needs for the state to take advantage of its small, homogeneous and unique features.
Whilst commending the efforts of the present board of Ekiti State FA led by its highly resourceful and awards winning chairman, Bayo Olanlege, Enyadike pointedly stated that Ekiti Football needs a big deal of digital marketing.
According to him, football operations in the state, as well as, Ekiti United FC, can be repackaged to attract either a membership structure or a joint venture (JV) structure where the government keeps a percentage and an investor comes in with some funding and buys a stake.