President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday commissioned the Nigerian Football House, named Sunday Dankaro House.
The ceremony which was performed by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo on behalf of the President, held at Package B, of the National Stadium Complex, Abuja.
President Jonathan, who said the edifice represents a bold step into the future of Nigerian football, added that it marked a significant millstone in football development and administration in the country, particularly as it was just “coming soon after the outstanding performance of our Super Eagles at the AFCON 2013, and our resurgence in several categories of football.”
The President while commending the Presidential Taskforce on FIFA 2010 World Cup (PTF), for a job well done, prayed that the edifice would serve as a catalyst for better football administration in the country.
He used the opportunity to reiterate the commitment of his administration to sports development being a veritable means of engaging the teeming youth population, stressing that no effort would be spared in achieving the objective.
Speaking, the Minister of Sports and the Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi, revealed that the Nigerian Football Federation was the first to own a befitting structure as a secretariat. He noted that locating the project at the National Stadium Complex was part of deliberate effort to relocate all National Sports Federations to Abuja, and also to make the Complex a hub for sports administration.
In his remarks the Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye said the commissioning was a landmark event in sports administration, maintaining that this would afforded the NFF a sports friendly environment to operate from.
Earlier the Secretary of the PTF, Patrick Ekeji, expressed appreciation to President Jonathan and Vice President Sambo for their support. He recalled that the PTF was set up by late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua, in 2009.
The newly commissioned building, named after a renowned sports administrator, Sunday Dankaro would serve as the administrative headquarters of the Nigerian Football Federation. The project was initiated by the PTF and built from the proceeds realised during the course of its activities.
The PTF has Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi as the Chairman, Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi as Vice Chairman, while Patrick Ekeji servers as its secretary. Other members include, Aminu Maigari, Segun Odegbami, John Mastoroudes, Olusegun Adeniyi, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Abdulmumini Aminu, John Fashanu and Buba Ahmed.
Present at the event, was the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Tele Ikuru, who stood in for Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Present also were several dignitaries from the sporting world, including the Super Eagles and their officials, members of the Nigerian Supporters Club and football fans.