Football fans and legends across the country have hailed Nigerian billionaire and business tycoon, Benedict Peters, CEO of energy giant; Aiteo for giving Nigerians a night of splendour that many will remember for a long time. The Aiteo-NFF Awards is ongoing at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
It has been a splendid night of glamour and elegance so far at Nigeria’s premier football awards. There have been musical performances from some of Nigeria’s biggest stars, including Reekado banks and Timi Dakolo. Several top shots across various facets of society are also in attendance.
Segun Odegbami, former Nigerian player known as Mathematical for his football skills, ‘says this of Aiteo’s intervention in Nigerian football:
“It is fantastic, it is great. The company is rewarding the Super Eagles and promoting football, so it is a positive thing.”
Linda Obi, a sports item merchandiser who attended the event commended the sponsors and the organizers.
“I am having a great time at the event. The music performances are electrifying, and the ambience is just beautiful. Kudos to Aiteo and the NFF for packaging this together,” an elated Linda Obi told Today’s Echo.
“My special appreciation goes to the Aiteo boss, Benedict Peters for taking the bold step to finance football in Nigeria at a difficult time. He will be remembered for taking football to the next level in this country.”
Taribo West, former defender and a member of the iconic 1994 Super Eagles team has this to say about Aiteo’s sponsorship:
“It is wonderful and progressive. We pray that they will not stop here but do more for football in Nigeria”
Kola Ijogun, a Civil Servant who is watching the event on TV spoke on phone. He was full of praise for the show’s sponsor
“I really want to appreciate the CEO of Aiteo, Benedict Peters, for making this possible; he is a man with a golden heart. Aiteo is a company that cares for football in Nigeria and on the African continent as a whole.”
Chuma Okolo, a student who called in from Enugu said he has followed the story of Aiteo’s intervention in Nigerian football and is amazed by Benedict Peters’ generosity.
“We are talking about a national award now because Benedict Peters decided to make the difficult decision in 2017 to start sponsoring the NFF,” Okolo said.
“Aiteo’s investment has turned around the state of football in Nigeria. I notice players no longer complain about non-payment of allowances and there is renewed interest in the local teams with Aiteo’s sponsorship of the Federations Cup and change of name to Aiteo Cup. The prizemoney for the winners gone up.”
Aiteo is currently Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil and gas company by output. In April 2017, Aiteo announced a five-year partnership agreement with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) worth an estimated N2.5billion. This partnership saw the Group emerging as the NFF’s Official Optimum Partner and funding the salaries of coaching staff of the Super Eagles, a move which is believed by many as the singular most important factor that led to Nigeria’s emergence as the first African nation to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
In June 2017, Aiteo followed up this sponsorship with a fresh N2.5billion agreement to underwrite the cost of the Federation Cup, now renamed Aiteo Cup, which they have taken to greater heights, adding glamour and colour to the game, and making it the largest televised finals in the history of the FA
Aiteo signed a deal last year with the NFF to sponsor the awards, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria. It celebrates the best performers in Nigerian football and the those who have led indelible marks on football in Nigeria. The maiden edition took place in February 2018 with 15 awards presented.
This year, in addition to the celebration of football feats, the Super Eagles team of 1994 is being honoured.
The members of the team present here include Emmanuel Amunike, Daniel Amokachi, Peter Rufai, Sunday Oliseh and Austin Jayjay Okocha.
The event is broadcast live on Supersports 2 and AIT.