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Brazil 2014 Saga: How agent, NTDC fooled Nigerians over fan village

imageAs the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup enters the knockout stage, Nigerians here are yet to see where the country’s Football Fans Village is located.
Instead, the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) that earlier announced that the village would hold for the duration of the tournament like that of other participating countries, has wound up its activities here in controversial circumstances.
NTDC Director-General, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, had since after signing a partnership agreement with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) earlier in the year in Abuja, announced that the Nigerian Football Fans Village would hold in Sao Paulo in grand fashion with top Nigerian musicians and stand-up comedians performing daily.
Mbanefo also announced that there would be exhibition of Nigeria’s arts and crafts and local foods on sale at the proposed village, in an atmosphere of Brazilian samba entertainment.
But to the bewilderment of Nigerians here, no such village was erected, even as the NTDC and its agent, ZA Entertainment, are now locked in blames over the embarrassing failure to hold the village when other countries’ fan fests are booming.
To save face, Mbanefo on June 18 rented a room in Braston Augusta Hotel, where she lodged and exhibited some some ankara materials and locally-made foot wears and served some Nigerians around refreshment.
While the event was on, president of ZA Entertainment, Mr. Azania Omo Agege, had arrived at the venue with the intention of stopping it.
Omo-Agege told National Mirror that he signed a Memoradum of Understanding (MoU) to organise the Nigerian Fans Village for the NTDC, alleging that he had made elaborate arrangement, hiring a hall for $8, 000 and paying some Nigerian musicians and putting in place other logistics for the village to run for one month, only for the NTDC boss to arrive in Brazil and cancelled all the commitments, citing lack of funds.
He lamented that he had been chased around by owners of the venue he booked to come and pay or face court action for denying them opportunity to rent out their facility to other willing clients earlier.
While the two parties trade blames, Nigerians here have been denied the joy of having a Fans Village like their counterparts participating in this Brazil 2014 World Cup.
Source: The Nation

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  1. NTDC’s Statement On Nigerian Fans Village In Brazil (NFFV)

    THE Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) entered into an MOU with ZA Entertainment to build the Nigerian Football Fans Village (NFFV) in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.

    The MOU gave ZA specific responsibility amongst others to:
    1. Get sponsors for the NFFV project in Brazil 2014 and to drive same.
    2. Construct the NFFV in Brazil 2014 and also be responsible for the maintenance of same for the entire duration of the world cup.

    As at the time the world cup started ZA failed to get sponsors for the project but gave NTDC the impression that he was still on course and that funding was in place between him and the marketer Rufai Ladipo.

    It was only on arrival in Brazil that NTDC shockingly realized that there was no construction of the NFFV on ground neither did they have any funds to survive on.

    ZA Entertainment in the person of Azaina Omo-Agege capitalized on the fact that the DG was no longer in Nigeria and decided to blackmail her and frustrate the project by begging for money to assist in the stand construction. She rejected this until he agreed that he would refund any monies collected from expected sponsors they had lined up. Based on this, the DG instructed the Corporation’s finance team to give him $10,000= to assist with the project. Yet he did not build any stand.

    It was there and then he attempted to foist a bill of $8,000=/per day for 30 days on NTDC knowing fully well that the Corporation is lean on funds and cannot afford to pay such a bill. It was even on this premise (lack of funds in NTDC) that he was asked to source for funds for the fans village in the first place.

    At this point, the DG had no alternative than to get an affordable venue for the fans village in two different venues rather than abort the project in its entirety and return back without gaining any grounds for the country.

    It is surprising for NTDC to hear the allegation of Omo-Agege when he was the one that breached and frustrated the MOU, and even when he was given money he still did not perform.

    We need to state categorically that NTDC is a government organisation and as much as we want to work together with the private sector we will not encourage any party or parties interested in defrauding or trying to take financial advantage of the Corporation.

    NTDC endorsed the NFFV project and on many occasions facilitated and supported ZA Entertainment; with the good intention of ensuring that Nigeria had a bntdc in brazilefitting fans village worthy of emulation, unfortunately Omo-Agege could not keep up with his promise to construct the village as was expected.

    NTDC did not at any time raise money on his behalf to construct the village therefore he cannot reap where he did not sow.

    NTDC categorically states that no sponsor either banks or corporate bodies have given NTDC or paid into NTDC account any amount for the construction of the NFFV in Brazil and therefore wishes to refute any such allegation.

    NTDC also wishes to say that it shall continue to do everything possible to promote Nigeria Tourism positively.

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