Amehnews recalls that Aiteo last year became the main financial backer of Nigeria’s national soccer teams as well as the local football league, helping Nigeria reach the FIFIA World Cup and going through the tournament for the first time without the usual bickering between players and the federation of allowances.
The federation in a message to the founder and Executive Vice President of the Aiteo group, Benedict Peters, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick lauded him and the Aiteo group for putting smiles on the faces of Nigerians.
“Aiteo Group has redefined Nigerian football and have put smiles on the faces of Nigerians.
“Dear Mr. Benedict Peters, kindly accept my sincerest gratitude to your esteemed self and the Aiteo Group for redefining Nigerian football and putting smiles on the faces of Nigerians. Today, everybody is celebrating Nigeria’s qualification for AFCON 2019 after two successive misses, and the generality of Nigerians have now joined us in recognizing the role Aiteo played.
“Once again, I doff my hat and a big thank you,” Pinnick said.
Aiteo is currently Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil and gas company by output. In April 2017, Aiteo announced a five-year partnership agreement with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) worth an estimated N2.5billion.
This partnership saw the group emerging as the NFF’s Official Optimum Partner and funding the salaries of coaching staff of the Super Eagles, a move which is believed by many as the singular most important factor that led to Nigeria’s emergence as the first African nation to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
In June 2017, Aiteo followed up this sponsorship with a fresh N2.5billion agreement to underwrite the cost of the Federation Cup, now renamed Aiteo Cup, which they have taken to greater heights, adding glamour and colour to the game, and making it the largest televised finals in the history of the FA. This sponsorship ignited renewed public interest in the competition with the record crowd attendance at the 2018 final serving as testament.
In October 2017, Benedict Peters took his philanthropy and corporate social investment beyond Nigeria’s borders when Aiteo announced a partnership agreement with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to sponsor the Annual CAF Awards 2018. The event, now called the AITEO-CAF Awards, honours footballers who have made outstanding contributions to the development of football development on the continent.
Also in October, Forbes Africa Magazine recognized Peters as a foremost oil and gas leader and for his charitable and philanthropic undertakings.