The potentials are all there. Nigeria has one of the largest football market in Africa and the potentials of clubs like Enyimba, Kano pillars, Enugu Rangers, Plateau United, Lobi Stars… to become world class clubs and to be financially profitable are all there to be harnessed.
But there are somethings that didn’t add up. Government running the sport and not providing an enabling environment for private sector investment has been the bane of football business growth in Nigeria.
It is not a rocket science and we all know that more private sector investments in the Nigerian league system will help change the narrative of the football industry in Nigeria.
Indeed, the interest of the private sector to invest in Nigeria football isn’t in doubt. The business mogul and millionaire of his time, Late MKO Abiola (Owner of Abiola Babes) and Late Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu (Owner of Iwuanyanwu Nationale) had shown a glimpse of what private sector investment can do to football in Nigeria. But the lack of enabling environment did force them out of the scene.
Despite the complexity of football administration in the country and the continual bankruptcy of several privately owned clubs, yet some passionate individuals are still letting the ball rolling. Some has even gone ahead to establish Nigerian Private Investors Football League (NPIFL).
Here, we want to know some of the top private club owners and those who have invested interest in Nigerian football.
List of Top Private Club Owners in Nigeria
1. Kunle Soname is a major investor in football and sports related businesses. He is the owner of bet9ja, the leading sports betting brand in Nigeria. He is also the first Nigerian to acquire a European club C.D. Feirense Portugal and also the owner of Nigeria National League side, Remo Stars
2. Daniel Olukoya is the General Overseer of Mountain of Fire and Miracle ministry and owner as well as sole financier of Nigeria Professional Football League side MFM Fc.
3. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah is a Nigerian businessman, entrepreneur and currently the Senator, representing Anambra South Senatorial District in the Nigerian senate and CEO of Capital Oil. He is also the owner of NPFL side IfeanyiUbah FC.
4. Joe Udofia is the managing Director/CEO, Vandrezzer Energy Services Limited, Lagos, Nigeria.Udofia has graciously taken his philanthropic lifestyle into football management with the establishment of Vandrezzer football club, and has been showing Nigerian the modern way of managing a football club.
5. Ekene Abubakar Adams is the chairman and sole owner of Kada City FC in the NNL. Adam is perhaps the youngest owner of a private football club in Nigeria. Such a passionate young man working tirelessly to bring about the needed change in the Nigeria football space.
6. Felix Amaechi Obuah is a Nigerian business magnate, politician and philanthropist. He is the owner of the Nigeria Professional Football League side, Go Round FC.
List of Potential Private Football Investors
6. Orji Uzor Kalu is a Nigerian politician and businessman. He is the chairman of SLOK Holding and the Daily Sun and New Telegraph newspapers in Nigeria. He is the incumbent senator of Abia North senatorial zone. Kalu was the governor of Abia state who led Enyimba to win CAF champions League back to back in 2003 and 2004. He has made an attempt to contest as FIFA President and presently showing interest to buy a major stake in Arsenal fc England.
7. Bukola Abubakar Saraki is a Nigerian politician who was the former Senate President of Nigeria and the owner of defunct Bukola Babes FC. Saraki is a passionate lover of football who invested millions of naira in the establishment and running the world renowned Kwara state Football Academy Ilorin.
8. Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian businessman and owner of the Dangote group. He is Africa’s richestman. Dangote has presently undertake to renovate the MKO Abiola Stadium Abuja in public-private partnership arrangement. He has also shown interest in purchasing major shares in Arsenal England.
9. Raji Fashola is a politician and a senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He is currently the minister of Works and housing. Fashola as the governor of Lagos State in 2013 renovated and built over 180 Mini stadiums in Lagos including Row Park, Teslim Balogun, Onikan and Agege stadium where built to become world standard sporting facilities. Fashola is a passionate lover of football and still play the game with the All stars both in Lagos and Abuja.
10. kenssington Adebutu is a businessman and the owner of Premier Lotto, popularly known as “Baba Ijebu.” Adebutu is passionate lover of sports and one time a co-financier of Stationery Stores and Ikorodu United. He has agreed to renovate the Former National Stadium Surulere Lagos in a public-private partnership arrangement.