Speech by Chairman Ms Nkechi Obi at the 2023 NWFL AGA in Lagos

2023 Annual General Assembly

Welcome Address of the Chairman of the NWFL Board

Ms Nkechi Obi


  • The Governor of Lagos State
  • Honourable Minister of Sports
  • Hon. Ekene Adams Abubakar, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports  
  • NFF President, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau
  • Dr. Olayemi Bamidele-Oyebanji, First Lady of Ekiti State
  • Hon. Emeka Okoronkwo, Commissioner for Youth & Sports, Imo State
  • Mr. Fouad Oki, Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association
  • Special Guests
  • Chairmen / General Managers of the NWFL clubs
  • Members of the Press
  • Distinguished ladies and gentlemen. 

On behalf of the Board of the Nigerian Women’s Football League, I welcome you all to the 2023/2024 Annual General Assembly, the first under the newly appointed Board. 

This Board has been saddled with the responsibility of driving the growth of professional women’s football in Nigeria – building on the success that has been achieved in the past but also positioning the league to leverage the global rise in women’s football and women’s sports across the world. 

The task of delivering monumental growth of the leagues by the new Board requires strategic thinking to ensure the full commercialization of the league, the development of frameworks to increase the number of girls playing football, and a clear, guaranteed pathway for young talented girls to become professional football players. 

The Board recognizes that the professional game and its commercialization is critical to the growth of women’s football. This is evidenced in the number of national team players that started their careers in the NWFL and have now progressed to playing for foreign clubs. We have therefore identified our key focus areas that will determine/inform our activities going forward, and on which our performance can be measured. 

We will grow the level of female participation in football and improve on the quality and capacity of personnel around the league including players, coaches, officials and administrators. We will institute governance frameworks as the foundation for development and sustainability. We will harness revenue opportunities at the league level and provide guidance to clubs to help them harness their commercial value, and all these will be achieved through the innovative initiatives under our Women’s Football Rising© Platform which will be unveiled here today. 

Our Women’s Football Rising© Platform and its initiatives will be delivered in accordance with global best practices and strategies that can deliver the desired results. We have adopted FIFA;s 5 Pillars for Women’s Football Development and domesticated it into our 5-ponged Execution Strategy for women’s football that will see us develop and grow the game, showcase the NWFL, communicate and commercialise the league, govern and lead with professionalism, and educate and empower women through football. 

For the first time, NWFL will be embracing and promoting the significance of sustainability in sports in general in Nigeria and women’s football in particular. By highlighting environmental and social sustainability considerations, we will strategically position the NWFL and its leagues to undertake meaningful programmes and activations. To this effect, we will  be partnering with Sustainable Sport Africa Ltd, a globally renowned, environmental, social, governance (ESG) and sustainability professionals. who have agreed deploy their extensive network and expertise to assist the NWFL to design her sustainability programme in order to attract new commercial sponsors and institutional partners from within and outside Nigeria, with the ambition to make our league the first sustainable women’s league in Africa and ensure that this sustainability journey is embraced by all of our stakeholders.

The attribute of sports to deliver both social and commercial impact cannot be overemphasized and now, more than ever, we recognize the significant position that the NWFL occupies. Our goal is to ensure that the NWFL becomes a tool to drive nation building, to reduce the number of out-of-school girls, to foster gender equality and inclusion, to promote learning and education, and to provide livelihood for women, using football as the platform for achieving these.

I want to thank our stakeholders, the professional women’s clubs (government and privately owned) who have committed to our agenda and assisting us in achieving our goals. It is not easy running a women’s football club in this economic climate and they must be commended for staying the course.

I also want to put on record the professionalism exhibited by the management of the NWFL, led by the Chief Operating Officer, Ms Modupe Shabi. The attention to detail and willingness to go an extra mile have seen the transition of this board go seamlessly.

I also want to specially thank the partners that have come on board – both corporate organizations, Government establishments, development agencies, as well as well-meaning men and women who have committed to work with us in achieving our set objectives. We also welcome more partners as we embark upon this journey to delivering monumental growth for professional women’s football in Nigeria. 

Lastly, let me thank all our special guest, especially our Special Guest of Honour, H.E. Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu for being an impeccable host of our very first public event as a board.

Thank you and welcome.