The president of Nigeria Women Football League side, Naija Ratels FC, Barrister Paul Edeh on wednesday visited the new NWFL Secretariat which is under renovation, where he paid a courtesy visit to the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer of the league, Mrs Faith Ben-Anuge. The Naija Ratel boss also took advantage of the visit to donate a digital multi-functional copier, an embossed number clock and twenty match balls to the NWFL.
The visit was primarily to congratulate Mrs Faith Ben-Anuge on her appointment by the NFF and seemingly to touch on some critical issues on the growth and development of the league as well as seek for collaboration with the league body on the annual Naija-Ratels Pre-season Championship.
In his remarks, he said he deemed it necessary to pay the new Chief Operating Officer of the league a visit, because the team enjoyed a very robust relationship with the former C.O.O, Dr. Ayo Abdulrahman and thought the good tidings should continue considering the dynamism she was bringing to bear on the league.
” We have no doubt, that with your pedigree and dynamic leadership, having been around the women football cycle for sometime now, your unique touch will boost the work of your predecessor. We are sure that you would get the job done dilligently with the full backing of your boss, the Chairperson of the NWFL Mrs Aisha Falode ” He noted.
” Over the years, we have had to contend with the women’s league playing second fiddle to the men’s league.
” There is so much disparity when you compare the wages of the male footballers to female footballers both at the league level and at the level of the National Team.
” I urge you to use your good office as Chief Operating Officer to advocate for equal pay for both the men’s and women’s league. This I think is achievable considering the fact that some state owned teams are already paying the same wages for both their male and female teams.
“No doubt, the NWFL Chairperson, Aisha Falode has introduced a lot of innovations and discipline into the league, she has succeeded in making the NWFL a huge success as she isn’t one who would bend laid down rules. She operates by the books as she thinks outside the box.
The Benue-born philanthropist went on to say that there is need for the expansion of all tiers of the Nigeria Women Football League if there must be an improvement in female football in Nigeria.
” The expansion of the various tiers in the NWFL is also very neccesary. It is not enough to advocate for equal pay, it is also important to emphasis that the male and female league should have more teams participating that that of the male league.
He noted further that “The NPFL has 20 teams, while the NWFL Premiership has 16 teams, the NNL has over 40 teams, while the NWFL Championship as at last year had only 5 teams, the NWFL Nationwide, which is meant to be the grassroots league had just 6 teams as at last year, while the NLO has over 300 teams.
” It is our responsibility to make grassroots football more attractive, as it is the bedrock of our football. Our vision as a club is to discover talents and bring them to limelight.
“We have a great structure as a club and our club house in Makurdi covers a land mass of 2000sqm and it is tastefully well furnished.
” I am glad to also announce that most of our players are on scholarship, because we believe education must go together with football, while those who are not opportune to go to school are engaged in vocational training. Our recent enrollment of our girls in vocation training cost an upwards of 1.8M Naira in its first phase.
” I want to use this medium to solicit for collaboration with the NWFL to partner with Naija Ratels FC to host the Naija Ratels Pre-Season Tournament which will enable teams test their players before the league fully takes off.
” The Naija Ratels Pre-season Championship is the biggest Women Pre-season tournament in Nigeria and it’s neccesary that we form a partnership with the NWFL to make it even more robust.
” We look forward to having a bigger and better Pre-season Championship this year and we know with the support of the NWFL, we shall achieve our aims.
Finally, the legal luminary cum football administrator while making a donation of a digital multi-functional Sharp Photocopier and Printer, embossed number clock and twenty match balls to the NWFL Secretariat, stated that the urge to ensure a smooth and functional environment for the NWFL inspired him on the donation of the office equipments.
The Chief Operating Officer of the NWFL, Mrs Ben-Anuge, while receiving the donated equipments, described the donor, Bar. Paul Edeh as a women’s football patriot and one who has shown selflessness to the development of the league.
” We would like to express our very sincere gratitude to Bar. Paul Edeh for his contribution to the development of women’s football in the country.
” The Photocopier, Printer will indeed help to ease our official duties here at the NWFL Secretariat.
” Just like you rightly said, the chairperson of the league, Aisha Falode has done alot to see our league become one of the best in the world. Last season, she single handedly went all out to get sponsors for the league. We are looking forward to getting sponsorship for the league and call on corporate organisations and individuals to come forward and assist the league grow. She said.
” Your proposal to partner with the NWFL is a welcome development and I will present your proposal to the Board and I have no doubt that the board will be favourably disposed to partner with you to host the Pre-Season Tournament. It may be necessary to consider hosting this edition in Abuja to encourage participation.”
“I hope someday, the Nigeria Football Federation sees a treasure in you and bring you to the glasshouse, where you can exhibit your wealth of experience. She concluded.
Also speaking, a board member of the NWFL, Mr. Joe Amene, who was present at the event, said the level of women’s football in Nigeria and indeed Africa has improved drastically, citing the introduction of the CAF Women’s Champions league as a leapfrog to success.
Mr Amene also hailed Aisha Falode for the steady leadership in the NWFL, since she came in three years ago.
The experienced football administrator while thanking the President of Naija Ratels FC, Barrister Paul Edeh for his generosity also praised him for laying down good examples for other clubs in the NWFL to follow.
The C.O.O. took the Naija Ratels round the new NWFL office complex located in the former NFF Headquarters where he inspected the ongoing renovation of the office complex.