Afrinvest Limited, a leading investment management and financial technology company in Nigeria, has made a multi-million naira investment in football talent hunt and growth in the country’s foremost football club, Rangers International of Enugu.
The Group Managing Director of Afrinvest, Prince Ike Chioke, made this known on Tuesday during the official jersey sponsorship signing agreement between the company and the club.
The one-year deal is worth N50 million per season, starting with the 2023/2024 Nigeria Professional Football League season. It has a clause of renewal for the next two seasons after the run of the current season; thus, making it a total of three consecutive seasons.
Chioke explained that the signing would ensure that budding football talents and already discovered one in Enugu State, South East and Nigeria, where Rangers holds sway, have opportunity to become international stars and names in the football world.
He stated, “In Afrinvest, we are grateful that our amiable Governor, His Excellency, Dr Peter Mbah, and Rangers management made it a reality today. We believe that when we uplift the lives of young people through Rangers and bring them into national and international limelight, they will later contribute to the overall development of the state, the country and humanity in general.
“This partnership with Rangers is an opportunity to improve the future of football talents in the country, particularly in Enugu, and these talents’ future. We want to use Rangers as a case study of what Afrinvest can do in its sports revolution drive.”
According to him, the journey to sponsor Rangers started six years ago, as he promised to polish the club, raise its publicity and public respectability and make it the envy and pride of all Nigerians; not just the people in the South East but Nigerians all over the world.
Chioke, whose investment company began operation in 1995 and grew to seven diverse companies, said the company had been engaged in various Corporate Social Responsibility projects over the years.
“These CSR projects, which run into hundreds of millions of naira, have impacted on education, health, utility provision, financial literacy and other aspects of lives of communities within the country,” he added
The GMD lauded the General Manager of the club, Amobi Ezeaku, and his management team for pressing hard for the sponsorship within the last six years, notwithstanding political and bureaucratic obstacles they encountered.
On his part, Governor Peter Mbah said the signing was his vision to catalyse private sector investment and bring about the needed financial flow into the state.
Mbah, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, said the government was optimistic that Rangers would soon be a highly-rated and competitive club in Nigeria and Africa.
“Rangers International FC remains a legendary club and a great brand that will soon be a re-branding focal point for Enugu and Nigeria, as the club takes its exploits to national and continental levels.
“As a government, we thank Afrinvest for investing and sponsoring the jersey of the club and other positives that the company will be bringing to the growth of Rangers, football and the entire Enugu State,” he said.
The Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Lloyd Ekweremadu, said with the sponsorship, Afrinvest had challenged the state government to do more not just for sports in general.
With the relationship, Ekweremadu said he was optimistic that Rangers would soon achieve unprecedented heights, while the trophies and accolades would be coming soon.
In a vote of thanks, Ezeaku thanked Afrinvest and the state government for believing in the club and investing in it to make the difference.
“Rangers will press on with its vision and mission to dominate the world through Africa by this visionary investment of Afrinvest,” he said.
Rangers’ Coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu, assured Afrinvest and Rangers’ fans, home and abroad, that the club would make them proud this season by finishes as the best.
The signing was witnessed by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) officials, as well as ex-Rangers players, Christian Chukwu, Emmanuel Okala and Davidson Owumi among other great names in football.