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The Rangers International Football Club of Enugu State, popularly known as Enugu Rangers, have secured a landmark partnership contract with an investment and financial advisory firm, Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited, in the areas of infrastructure, logistics, brand management, sponsorship of jerseys and other training kits that will revive the football club for global competition.
This came even as the state Governor, Barr Peter Mbah, reiterated support to restore the glory of the football club to its premier status through funding and other supports, adding that sport enthusiasts would soon see Enugu Rangers as their favourite in the continent.
Speaking at the event in Enugu, yesterday during the signing of the partnership agreement, the Governor said his administration had already indicated special interest in sports and would commit huge investment on the sector as a source of business, employment and revenue generation for the youths.
Noting that his administration was already creating an economic base to engage the youths and discourage them from leaving the country for greener pastures that never existed abroad, the Governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, said the state would continue to support meaningful investment venture in sports, technology and other essential areas to boost youths’ productivity.
The Governor, who said that the government was deliberate in making the state an attractive hub for investors, added that it would continue to partner with the private sector, such as the one with Afrinvest, to achieve the vision of making Enugu one of the top three states in the country in terms of gross domestic product.
‘But in doing that, I believe strongly that the private sector will play an integral role in catalyzing the process. What you are seeing is an example of that. Afrinvest is coming in to help with Rangers Football Club; branding the club, and being part of the process of growing the club.
‘This is just the beginning of many things that will happen, both in the sports space, in the tech space, in many ways that will help catalyse an economy that we will all be proud of as Enugu State citizens,’ the governor said.
Mbah further assured that the process of rebuilding the Enugu Rangers from scratch had already commenced, saying the football club was on its way to becoming the preferred club in the country.
According to him, ‘With the team we have here, we know that it’s just a matter of time before people will begin to understand that when you talk about Rangers in Enugu, you are going to have a different approach to viewing soccer and having the followership because young people need where they will go out, and now we have it.
‘We are building the infrastructure around our stadium, and we are doing things that will help young people get into that space’.
Speaking earlier, the Group Managing Director of Afrinvest, Engr Ike Chioke, said the efforts to bring professional partnership to the club dated years back culminating in the milestone of signing the agreement.
He promised that Afrinvest would do everything within its reach to rebrand the club and give it a global attraction with the plans on ground as part of the company’s social corporate responsibility to engender youth empowerment and development.
Chioke also disclosed that the governor had already committed to the timely completion of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, so that Enugu Rangers could return back to the state for their training activities and matches.
He said the materials and infrastructures needed to give the stadium a befitting standard had already arrived the country, assuring fans that the project would be completed before the end of this year.