Governor Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has donated N10 million to Lafia-based Nasarawa Amazons FC for clinching the 2016/2017 Nigerian Women Football League (NWFL) title.
The governor also ordered the prompt payment of the players sign-on fees worth N38 million.
Mr. Al-makura made the donation at a brief ceremony held for the management and players of the club at the Government House in Lafia on Wednesday.
He said the team’s triumph was worth more than “silver and gold’’ and the only way show gratitude which could not be enough for their efforts was to recognise and celebrate them.
“It is with the greatest delight that I, on behalf of the government and people of Nasarawa State, welcome our victorious Amazons home.
“What these wonderful queens have done is worth more than silver or gold.
“Today is one of the golden days of Nasarawa State because these great daughters of ours have done the state proud by winning the NWFL title.
“This makes me proud and I am appreciating them with a donation of N10 million,’’ he said.
Mr. Al-Makura, who praised the Amazons for their feat, assured them that between Wednesday and Friday, their total sign-on fees worth N38 million would paid as a sign of the government’s commitment to their welfare.
“You are the single most exalted team among ladies in the country. I believe you are priceless.
“What you have done for Nasarawa State cannot be quantified. We have already started reviewing your emoluments so that you can access them compared with other states.
“Also, I have already signed the N38 million documents for your sign-on fees. Today is Wednesday. I want to assure you that by Friday, your sign-on fees will be paid to you,” he added.
The governor also revealed that the government had arranged for all necessary vehicles meant for the transportation and use by Nasarawa Amazons and Nasarawa United FC to be released to both teams on Wednesday.
“What you and Nasarawa United are doing is very encouraging and we will continue to play our part by ensuring that your welfare is always taken care of.
“I want to also inform you that we have also created a practicing pitch for your training just behind the government house,’’ he said.
He, however, urged the players to be patient with the government with regards to their emoluments compared to female footballers in Europe and other parts of the world.
Mr. Al-Makura assured them that government was doing its best to develop sports to the level it should be.
Thanking the governor, Audu Nuhu, the club’s Chairman, expressed gratitude to the government for its support and assured that the team would work harder to ensure that it retained the title next season and win the Aiteo Challenge Cup also.
“I cannot say we have ever gone out without our allowances and I cannot also say that any other club enjoys the type of support we get from our state government.
“We are indeed very grateful for all the support you have given the team.
“We must thank you sir for the approval given for the prompt payment of the players’ sign-on fees.
“This is just the beginning of the laurels we are going to bring to the state. We will continue to do our best so that whatever efforts you make is seen,’’ he said.
Earlier, the team’s Captain, Mariam Ibrahim said: “I want to say a big thank you to our daddy, the executive governor of Nasarawa State for your support because without the support, we may not have achieved this goal.
“He has been very supportive and I pray God continues to protect him,’’