Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr and team captain Mikel Obi have hailed the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for the seminar on wealth creation and portfolio management that afforded players and officials with fresh knowledge in financial management and business opportunities on Tuesday afternoon in Abuja.
Franco-German Rohr, who has lost only one competitive match since taking charge of the Eagles 22 months ago and will lead the three-time African champions at this year’s FIFA World Cup finals, commended the NFF for the move as he noted that no condition is permanent.
He said, “In life, things do change and sometimes, the changes are not what we planned or prepared for. I pray for all these players to have long, injury-free careers but even then, you can only play for an average of 17 years. I played for 17 years. I wish I got this kind of guidance and advice when I was still playing.”
Mikel Obi said, “Since I started playing for Nigeria, this is the first time I am witnessing this kind of seminar. I appeal to all my colleagues to take serious the lessons from this programme. We must plan for the days that our bodies will no longer be able to withstand the kind of rigours they go through now. I have learnt a lot from here that I will personally apply to my life.”
NFF President, Amaju Pinnick opened the session at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, alongside Mr. Olufemi Obaleke, Executive Director of WAPIC Insurance Plc. Pinnick categorically told the players and officials that in as much as they have been making and will certainly make some money around the forthcoming FIFA World Cup, only wise financial decisions and sensible investment moves could create sustainable wealth that would spare them of any regret in the future.
“We put together this seminar knowing that it would be of immense benefit to all members of this team. Our care for you should not end on the field of play. We are family and must have one another’s back always. Please take away good lessons from here so that tomorrow, you would not become liability to anyone or the society.
“You players have all definitely been making some good money in your various Clubs, and will also be making money during this World Cup. It is not the money that you have that is the wealth; it is how you invest the monies and manage your portfolio to continue to create wealth for you.
“I know a number of sportsmen (in Nigeria and globally) who made more than yourselves during their career and then fell on bad times after retirement. Wisdom in financial management and investment in the right areas would spare you of heartache in the future.”
NFF 2nd Vice President/Chairman of Strategy Committee, Mallam Shehu Dikko said, “There have been several instances of people wishing they took better decisions in their active days. As a Federation, we want you to know the secret of living a life of comfort after you must have stopped playing.
“You must make sacrifices now in order to enjoy a stress-free future.”
Umar Ahmed, an Executive Director of Zenith International Bank, Omolola Rufai of WAPIC Insurance Plc and Esiri Agbeyi of PriceWaterHouse Coopers also spoke at the seminar.