The transfer of Robert Mizo from Bayelsa United to Libya Outfit, Al Ahli has got many talking, even those that have never had anything to good to report about the league having the loudest voices. But, this time, the Chief Operating Officer of the Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL), Davidso Owumi has delivered a comprehensive perspective on the league’s evolution.
His viewpoint revolves around the broader correlation between the real situation of the Nigerian economy and the migration of skilled workers, explaining in bits the recent magnetism of Saudi Arabia’s football league, luring “best” players away from established European leagues.
From a standpoint on the fence, even many European pundits have complained about not only their best players but burgeoning players choosing Saudi Arabia because of lucrative deals. These are countries with better and thriving economy. Yet, their talents are opting for the ‘Greenest Pastures’. How much more Nigeria? Where a dollar is above a thousand naira.
Owumi further went on to broaden the Nigerian scope, extending the discussion beyond football to various skilled professions like medicine and IT, pondering the number of skilled professionals choosing to remain in Nigeria. Truth be told, even the critics of players leaving the country, if given the same opportunity will hop on it like a kangaroo.
A hypothetical scenario concerning a footballer’s choice between a lucrative offer in Lisbon and a substantial Nigerian club salary, one needs to probe the economic aspects influencing players’ decisions amidst currency disparities. Beyond that, what other oportunities does the environment over there offer?
One however must acknowledge the NPFL’s recent resurgence. As Owumi credited thie league’s rejuvenation to collaborative efforts involving the NFF, clubs, GTI, and media. He went on to detail positive shifts like improved visibility, burgeoning partnerships between clubs and corporations, as well as the diligent financial settlements facilitated by strategic partners like GTI.
For a sustained commitment to building a robust football structure, any optimistic critic must draw parallels with the determined efforts that built prominent football brands like those of England and Spain. Rome they say, was not built in a night.
WIth Owumi, it is better as Nigerians that we come together to express faith in the league’s potential resurgence, together in solidarity, and invoking the famous quote, “No Champion forever, but together we will rise again.”