The Athletics Federation of Nigeria was thrown into a frenzy Wednesday, after entering into $150,000 (about N25 million) contract with a Chinese oil company, FINOPEC.
The contract makes the company one of the official sponsors of the Nigerian athletics ruling body. The signing ceremony took place in Warri at the finals of the AFN Golden League.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, AFN President, Solomon Ogba said the sponsorship deal would not have come at a better time than now, one day after one of its major sponsors, Mobil withdrew its commitment to the AFN.
“I am happy with what has happened. It is said nature abhors a vacuum and that is what has practically played out with the coming of FINOPEC,” Ogba said.
He contended that the coming of FINOPEC was “a huge blessing to AFN which paints a bright future for athletics in Nigeria.”
Ogba who broke the news at the Warri Stadium said the development was a big plus for athletics in the country and urged other corporate bodies in the country to follow the example of FINOPEC.
The latest contract with the Chinese oil company brings to two within two weeks the number of sponsors that have identified with the AFN. Only last week, the Cross River State government signed a N50 million Naira 5-year contract with the AFN. This puts the federation on a sound footing in its bid to ensure its programmes and activities are carried out without difficulties.
Mobil Nigeria announced early this week that it had withdrawn its sponsorship of Athletics Federation of Nigeria’s flagship event, the annual NNPC/Mobil Nigeria Track and Field Athletics championship after 21 years. No reason was given by the company for the withdrawal.