Daily Trust (Abuja)

29 August 2012

Nigeria: NPL to Get Sponsors Soon - Baribote

The Nigeria Premier League (NPL) will soon resolve the protracted league title sponsorship dispute preventing its development over the years.

Chairman of the NPL Board, Chief Victor Baribote revealed this in Lagos recently at a dinner organized in his honour by Arena Signage Limited and Youdees Integrated Services Limited.

According to the NPL boss, "this board inherited a league in sponsorship crisis and as we speak, the matter is at best, nearing resolution."

He attributed the resolution of the crisis to the intervention of the Minister for Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam, Bolaji Abdulahi.

Baribote disclosed that the Minister has succeeded in bringing the companies locked in the dispute over the title rights to a round table for amicable settlement.

"The Honourable Minister of Sports has been assisting us in getting the parties to the dispute to talk and to a large extent; there has been some level of success."

He added that: " We truly appreciate the intervention of the Honourable Sports Minister and hope that in a matter of days, a formal announcement will be made on the league's rights owners"

Allegations to be addressed

Baribote said the board has, with huge difficulty, steered the 2011/2012 season to an appreciable level of success with a reduced inflow of revenue and promised that all outstanding matters being raised about the matches would be resolved to the satisfaction of those with genuine cases.

"We have managed to steer this season to the week 37 matches with support from our other sponsors such as Lucozade Sports, IGI, PZ-Robb and our television broadcast partners, Total Promotions. Considering that in some years back, the league earned over N800m in combined sponsorship revenue, we deserve commendation for what we have gone through to get to where we are."

Baribote thanked the organizers of the dinner for the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with some Sports Journalists and appealed to stakeholders to continue to work towards creating platforms for such interactions.

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