Nnewi-born Billionaire and Managing Director of Capital Oil & Gas, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, has stated that Capital Oil & Gas and the reigning Nigerian Federation Cup champion, FC Ifeanyi Ubah, sponsored no fewer than 73 Nigerians on a tour to London, the United Kingdom capital, last week, owing to concerted efforts “to grow our economy through strong Football sector.”
Ubah, who spoke to journalists on the sidelines of the tour relished his London experience with the beneficiaries.
According to the Proprietor, FC Ifeanyi Ubah, “the sponsored tour of Nigerians, comprising football administrators, football managers, football facility managers, journalists, marketers, engineers, crowd managers, as well as members of our supporters club, was made possible owing to “my vision in life anchored on human capital development.
After all, one can’t talk about developing a society without putting the people at the front burner of such development.” Ubah stated that, “We concluded our London tour yesterday (Sunday), with the delegation delighting themselves with the wonderful sights of England’s capital.
I am very confident that those who were lucky enough to have been selected through the ballot system and other considerations must have learnt so much from this experience as we aspire to create a strong football-driven sub-economy in Nigeria.
“One of the biggest challenges in our part of the world is the inability to transform ideas from paper to reality and we are very focused as we aim to actualize our noble agenda which would see our vision become reality.
“For the past one week, our over 70-man delegation whose field of specialty ranges from football administration, football management, football facility management, journalism, marketing, engineering, crowd management, as well as members of our supporters club have been in the city of London in line with the actualization of our vision with regards to recreating, re-branding and revitalizing the football sector back home as we aspire to be at par with our counterparts in Europe.
“Series of events took place while we enjoyed the city of London, some of which are: an interactive section between the delegation and I; presentation of our Nigeria Football Federation Cup trophy to our English partners, Westham United FC and her fans to the delight of the boisterous crowd at their match against Arsenal FC.
It was a great honour to be recognized in such a manner and we are poised to conquer Africa.” “Our football administrators and managers were availed an extensive insight on how best to manage and promote academy football especially as West Ham FC run one of the best academies in world football.
The football facility managers had the opportunity of asking and taking notes on how to successfully manage football facilities (especially stadia),” he said. Speaking further, Ubah, who is the Chairman, Anambra State Football Association, ANSFA, said, “The football crowd controllers also had a practical experience of the structural planning that is needed to manage and control over 60,000 spectators at the Stadium with ease.
“Journalists in the delegation took notes on the role of the media in promoting a strong football sub-economy in Nigeria with special emphasis on successful European clubs. It is also of note that some members of our media team had the opportunity of appearing on one of the London based TV station where they took time to discuss our efforts and thereby building their courage.
“Members of the supporters club who were part of the trip also took notes on how to build a viable and vibrant supporters club that will be at par with what is obtainable in Europe as one cannot talk of building a strong football-driven economy without strong and passionate fan base.”
The Publisher of Authority Newspapers, said “Our marketing unit also understudied West Ham United’s merchandising (with an emphasis on their sports shop) while mulling over how to make ours better back home. Yes, we went to West Ham United shop not to only buy some of West Ham United’s paraphernalia but to engage the leadership of the marketing unit so as to help ours back home.
The leadership of our marketing unit agreed with me that we needed to do more back home. “We also interacted with Nigeria international and Arsenal FC player Alex Iwobi who congratulated our team for winning the FA Cup in Nigeria and urged us to continue to push for the growth of football back home.”
According to Ubah, the big dreamer came, when a 5-year old boy insisted that the Federation Cup be brought for him to touch at the Stadium after the trophy presentation.
“There comes a strong voice from a child: ‘I want to touch the trophy! Bring the trophy to me!’ “Such was a voice so irresistible. I had no choice than to oblige. I took the cup to him and other kids joined us in taking pictures with the trophy there at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium, London.
Adding that, “Finally, while I acknowledge that moving to a new stadium has never been an easy feat and most teams always suffer a transitional period just like West Ham currently are, we reminded our partners (West Ham United) of our available pool of talent and how our club could help them with quality players who could aid them in sailing through this difficult tide as we have quite a number of talented players who can fit into any league in the world including the English Premier League.
Thankfully, this process has commenced. In a few weeks time and as the winter transfer window opens, we are confident of doing business.
“In conclusion, I wish to thank God almighty for a hugely successful trip and the safety of the over-70 man delegate who arrived Nigeria this morning.
“I do expect that our society will benefit from the knowledge and firsthand experience these people must have acquired from the London trip especially as it concerns the recovery of Nigeria’s economy and our resolve to diversify her through football tourism.
“I am also aware of the impact this huge investment would have on the lives of most persons that went on this London trip and I am hugely thankful to God for putting me in such a position where I can be of service to mankind.
“Most of them never saw this day coming, but as my vision in life is anchored on human capital development, one can’t talk about developing a society without putting the people at the front burner of such development.
“I, therefore, urge us all to continue to think about how we all can change our world for the better and for the betterment of the unborn.” The Philanthropist added that
“We expect to commence a tour of Europe (Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Turkey), America and Asia next year in line with our vision and mission.”