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ND Western Awards Scholarship to Teenage Athlete Maria Umoibang



ND Western Made of Champions Maria Umoibang

By Adedapo Adesanya

ND Western Limited, an indigenous oil and gas company and pioneer lead sponsor of Making of Champion’s Student-Athlete, has announced a full US collegiate scholarship recipient for one of its student-athletes.

The five-year partnership between ND Western and Making of Champions (MoC) has awarded Student-Athlete Scholarships at both secondary schools and universities in Nigeria, as well as sponsored talent search competitions that have discovered current and future star athletes for Nigeria.

Founded in 2013, Making of Champions Limited is a Sports Media & Management Company that was set up to elevate the profile and performance of Sports in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. The company is dedicated to maximising the potential that sports have to bring the country, and the continent as a whole, together.

Based on her incredible potential, the promising teenage athlete, Ms Maria Umoibang, has been awarded the US Collegiate Scholarship at South Plains College in Texas. The scholarship paid for her tuition, training, physiotherapy, apparel, gym, transport, and dietary support, as well as covering all her US visa processing expenses and even her flight to the USA to start her new life as a Collegiate Student-Athlete.

She was trained by Olympic Medalist & MoC Head Coach, Deji Aliu, and was the fastest 15-year-old in Nigeria in 2020 before becoming one of the youngest athletes ever to contest the 100m Final at Nigeria’s Olympic Trials at the age of 16 in 2021.

Speaking at the official announcement, the Head of Commercial, Mr Sunday Okunbor, said ND Western was committed to investing in the next generation and Making of Champions has been a good partner in ensuring young talents can live their dreams.

“Sustainable development is fundamental to our operations hence, we stay true to our Environmental, Social, and Governance, ensuring both work in tandem to enable us to contribute our quota in achieving a better society and by extension, a brighter future for nations with our footprint,” he said.

Mr Bambo Akani, the CEO/ Founder of MoC, commended ND Western for working with MoC since 2017, a partnership he said has yielded great results. “We are excited about our partnership with ND Western as there is a need to encourage and support the pool of talents.

“The partnership is in line with our mission to raise champions for Nigeria, and ND Western has displayed how truly it powers the nation by creating champions in the classroom and on the track. We are also optimistic that Maria and other beneficiaries will be recognized champions in Nigeria and the world.”

The frontrunner assured that she would live up to expectations as she begins another phase of her life.

“I can’t thank you enough; you are indeed family. It has been my dream to make my family proud, and you have put me on the right track to achieve this”, said Ms Umoibang.

ND Western’s partnership with MoC dates back to 2017 — the Student-Athlete Scholarship is the first of its kind in Nigeria, awarding full Scholarships to talented teenagers in Nigerian Secondary Schools and Universities, many of whom have gone on to win National, Continental, and Global medals, with several recipients earning US Collegiate Scholarships worth over $1 million combined to date.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.


Everton Sack Frank Lampard After West Ham Loss



Frank Lampard Everton

By Dipo Olowookere

Everton Football Club have sacked Frank Lampard as Manager after the team’s 2-0 loss at the London Stadium home of West Ham United on Saturday.

The loss over the weekend put the Merseyside club 19th on the EPL table with just 15 points from 20 matches.

The former Chelsea boss arrived at Goodison Park in January 2022, but he only garnered 35 points from 38 games, which the owners of the football outfit were not happy about.

It was learned that the former Manager of Derby County was shown the way out of the Blue side of Merseyside today during a phone call with a major shareholder of Everton, Mr Farhad Moshiri.

The club owner was not happy with the poor run of results in recent matches despite giving the manager the needed support to turn things around for good.

Everton escaped relegation last season, but to prevent another last-minute survival battle in the Premier League, Frank Lampard was asked to look for a job elsewhere after being in charge for almost a year, with 18 months left in the contract of the 44-year-old former England midfielder.

The club have managed only three matches this season and have lost 11 games so far.

Meanwhile, there are speculations that former Leeds United coach, Marcelo Bielsa, could take charge of reigns at Goodison.

Before the loss at West Ham, Everton lost 2-1 at home to Southampton on Saturday, January 13. The club will face an in-form Arsenal on February 4 before meeting their city rival, Liverpool, a day before Valentine’s Day.

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Highest Paid Nigerian Footballer – How Much Do Nigerian Footballers Earn



Highest Paid Nigerian Footballer

Highest-Paid footballer from Nigeria

The phrase “Naija no dey carry last” has been evident in football recently as there has been an influx of Nigerian footballers playing abroad. Football is the most popular sport in Nigeria with millions of fans supporting their clubs abroad. Nigeria has always been a home of incredible football talents and with more amazing young footballers showing in recent years, the weekly wages of Nigerian footballers has been on a rise.

The huge wages being paid to Nigerian footballers isn’t a surprise as the impact of the players is evident in those teams. Aside from the high wages they earn, Naija footballers are being traded for a huge amount of money. In the summer of 2020, Victor Oshimen became the most expensive African footballer of all time as he joined Napoli from Lille for about $80 million-plus add-on. Hardly any top European league without a Nigerian footballer performing at a high level and earning huge wages. A good sign for the Super Eagles as the national squad is now full of top talents.

We have decided to go on an adventure to reveal the highest-paid footballers from Nigeria, who are also featured in the best football predictions bettors will find on Takebet Nigeria. We have searched all leagues where Nigerian players compete, from European leagues such as English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Bundesliga to other top leagues.

Let’s dig into the list of the highest-paid footballers from Nigeria.

Odion Ighalo – Striker, Al-Hilal – $170,000 (last know)

Odion Ighalo is one of the most popular Nigerian players. The striker became the first Nigerian international to play for Manchester United after he joined the club on loan from the Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020. Odion Ighalo scored five goals in 23 appearances before returning to Shanghai Shenhua at the end of his loan.

The Nigerian international joined Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab from the Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in 2021. Ighalo scored 10 league goals in 19 appearances for Shanghai Shenhua. Odion made his debut in 2005 and moved to Europe in 2008 where he joined Udinese. The Nigerian international joined Watford during the 2014-15 and scored 36 league goals in 90 appearances for the club.

Odion Ighalo represented the Super Eagles during the 2018 World Cup. The Nigerian international holds the record for the most goals scored during a single Africa Cup of Nations with seven goals in 2019.

Ighalo earned $170,000 per week in Al Shabab. Odion Ighalo joins Al-Hilal, another Saudi football club, after the AFCON 2021. His salary in the new club is currently unknown, but the striker is sure to keep his #1 spot.

Victor Osimhen – Striker, Napoli – $110,000

Victor Osimhen is currently one of the best strikers in Europe. The Nigerian international has been amazing for Napoli this season after a slow start to life in the Italian Club. Victor Osimhen became the most expensive Africa striker in history after he joined Napoli from Lille for a fee of about $80 million in the winter transfer of 2020.

The Napoli striker has scored 19 goals in 45 appearances for the Italian side. Osimhen had an incredible rise to glory as he wasn’t able to join either Zulte Waregem or Club Brugge in his early days due to Malaria. Victor was in Nigeria’s under-17 team that won the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The Nigerian international won the Golden Boot in the tournament with 10 goals. He also won the Silver Ball award during the tournament.

Osimhen missed out on the 2018 World Cup squad. He made his debut for the national team in 2017. The Nigerian international made the squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and has been brilliant since then. He has scored 10 goals in 18 appearances for the national team.

Victor currently plays in Napoli and he earns $110,000 per week.

Wilfred Ndidi – Midfielder, Leicester City – $100,000

Wilfred Ndidi is currently one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. The Nigerian international has been incredible since he joined Leicester City from Genk in the winter transfer of 2017 for $20m. Ndidi has scored 10 goals in 196 appearances since he joined the club.

The Nigerian international won the most tackles in the Premier League (138) during the 2017-18 season. He also won the most tackles in the league in the following season of 2018-19. Wilfred Ndidi was an important player of the squad that won the 2020-21 FA Cup as they defeated Chelsea by a goal to nil.

Ndidi represented Nigeria during the 2016 Summer Olympics. He made the squad for the 2018 World Cup as they were knocked out in the group stage. Ndidi also represented the Super Eagles in the 2019 and 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. He has 47 caps for the Nigerian national team.

Wilfred Ndidi currently plays for Leicester City and earns $100,000 per week.

Kelechi Iheanacho – Striker, Leicester City – $80,000

Seniorman Kelz as he is widely regarded came into the limelight after an impressive outing during the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The Nigerian international won the Golden Ball award as the Super Eagles won the tournament. Iheanacho scored six goals during the competition as he won the Silver Boot.

Kelechi Iheanacho joined Manchester City in 2015. Iheanacho scored 21 goals in 64 appearances for Manchester City as he won the English Football League Cup. The Nigerian international joined Leicester City for a fee of about $30 million in the summer of 2017. Iheanacho was brilliant during the 2020-21 season as he scored 12 goals in the Premier League, overperforming his expected goals of 8.20.

Iheanacho represented Nigeria during the 2018 World Cup. The Leicester City striker also represented the Super Eagles during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Iheanacho has scored 12 goals in 42 appearances for the national team.

Kelechi Iheanacho currently plays for Leicester City and earns $80,000.

Alex Iwobi – Midfielder, Everton – $68,000

Alex Iwobi started his club career with Arsenal as he joined the youth team in 2004. The Nigerian international made his senior debut in 2015 for Arsenal against Sheffield Wednesday.

Iwobi scored 15 goals in 149 appearances for Arsenal as he spent four seasons with the senior team. The Nigerian international joined Everton from Arsenal for a fee of about $45 million in the summer of 2019. Iwobi won the FA Cup and two Community Shields with the Gunners. The Nigerian international has scored six goals in 80 appearances for Everton.

Alex made his international debut for Nigeria in 2015 although he started as a youth international for England. The Everton player has scored nine goals in 53 appearances for the Super Eagles. Iwobi scored the winning goal against Zambia to secure a spot for the Super Eagles in the 2018 World Cup. He was featured in the 2018 World Cup as Nigeria was knocked out in the group stage.

Iwobi played for the Super Eagles in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The Nigerian international was sent off in the Round of 16 of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations as the Super Eagles suffered a 0-1 defeat to Tunisia.

Alex Iwobi currently plays for Everton and earns $68,000.

Victor Moses – Midfielder, Spartak Moscow – $56,000

Victor Moses was a popular player amongst Nigerian fans after he played a huge role in Chelsea’s Premier League triumph during the 2016-17 season. The Nigerian international started his club career in Crystal Palace before joining Wigan in 2010. Chelsea signed Moses in the summer of 2022 from Wigan. Moses went on loan to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United before returning for the 2016-17 season.

The Nigerian international was converted to a right wing-back under Antonio Conte as Chelsea won the league. Moses was later loaned out to different teams such as Fenerbache, Inter Millan and Spartak Moscow. The latter club signed the player on a permanent basis in July 2021. Victor Moses scored 18 goals in 128 appearances while playing for Chelsea. He won the Premier League, FA Cup and two UEFA Europa League titles with the Blues.

Victor Moses scored 12 goals in 37 appearances for the Nigeria national team. The Spartak Moscow player was an important player in Nigeria’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations triumph. Moses featured for the Super Eagles in the 2014 World Cup and the 2018 World Cup where he scored a goal in the 1-2 defeat to Argentina.

Victor Moses currently plays for Spartak Moscow and earns $56,000.

Moses Simon – Winger, Nantes – $40,000

Moses Simon was Nigeria’s best player during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The Nigerian international started his senior club career with AS Trencin in 2014 where he scored 17 goals in 39 appearances before joining Gent in 2015. Moses scored 21 goals in 136 appearances with Gent as he spent four seasons at the club before joining Levante. The Nigerian international won the Belgian Pro League and Belgian Super Cup while in Gent.

Moses joined Levante on loan for the 2019-20 season with an option to buy. The deal was made permanent the following season as he signed a four-year deal. Moses has scored 17 goals in 85 appearances for Nantes.

Simon made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2015 against Uganda. He has scored six goals in 45 appearances for the national team. Simon represented Nigeria during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Highest paid Nigerian footballer FAQ

Who is the highest-paid footballer in Nigeria?

Odion Ighalo is the highest-paid Nigerian footballer. Ighalo joined Al Shabab from Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020 where he was being paid $402,000. The Nigerian international was the first player to play for Manchester United after he took a pay cut and received $200,000 to join the club on loan.

The Nigerian international was paid $170,000 in Al Shabab, and he is thought to stay in the same salary range in his new Saudi club, Al-Hilal, which he joins after the AFCON 2021.

Who is the richest Nigerian football player overall?

John Obi Mikel is the richest Nigerian footballer with a net worth of about $57 million. The Nigerian international is one of the greatest footballers in the country’s history. Mike Obi made his fortunes while playing for Chelsea in the Premier League. He spent 11 seasons at Chelsea where he scored six goals in 372 appearances for the club. Mikel won two Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Europa League, three FA Cup, one English Football League Cup and one FA Community Shield during his time at Chelsea.

Mikel Obi is currently a free agent after his contract with Kuwait SC was terminated just four months after joining the club.

Who is the most expensive footballer from Nigeria?

Victor Osimhen is the most expensive Nigerian footballer. Osimhen joined Napoli from Lille for a fee of about $80m in 2020 after scoring 18 goals in 38 appearances for the French club. The Nigerian international has scored 19 goals in 45 appearances for Napoli. Osimhen is being paid $110,000 per week in Napoli.

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NCC, NLRC Sign MoU to Regulate Nigeria’s Gaming Industry



Nigeria's gaming industry

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has signed a revised Memorandum of Understanding with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), with provisions to deter unapproved lottery and gaming practices on telecommunications platforms through information and intelligence sharing.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Mr Umar Danbatta, said this would impact Nigeria’s gaming industry in sync with the commission’s Strategic Vision Plan (SVP).

He further stated that the deal was to promote fair practices in the industry for the protection of telecommunications consumers in relation to lottery and gaming activities.

Mr Danbatta said the collaboration was in line with the provisions of the agency’s SVP 2021-2025, which provides for the facilitation of strategic partnership and collaboration with other bodies to enhance service delivery.

“The initial MoU expired in 2022; amendments and modifications have been made since no MoU is cast in stone, especially given the industry’s dynamic nature,” he stated.

The Director-General of NLRC, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila, expressed confidence that the MoU will yield favourable outcomes in curbing illegal online gambling as he shared his hope that NCC and NLRC will achieve their intentions in the interest of gaming stakeholders.

He noted how unapproved lottery and gaming activities and practices undermine the integrity of domestic and global gaming markets to the detriment of stakeholders in addition to undermining consumer confidence in these markets, hence the collaboration with the Commission to arrest such tendencies.

In his view, the Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management), Mr Adeleke Adewolu, disclosed that the MoU was designed to address recent technology information-sharing capabilities and consumer satisfaction and to enhance areas of co-regulation in line with the Federal Government’s digital economy mandate.

The new MoU provides complementary approaches to deter unapproved lottery/gaming practices on telecommunications platforms through information and intelligence sharing in recognition of how unapproved lottery and gaming activities and practices undermine the integrity of domestic and global gaming markets to the detriment of stakeholders in addition to undermining consumer confidence in these markets.

Under the agreement, following requests from NLRC, NCC will endeavour to block or disable illegal lottery gaming operators on the telecommunications service providers’ platforms in Nigeria and NLRC.

The document was developed by a Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) comprising representatives of NCC and NLRC to implement the MoU and other matters that promote collaboration between both organizations in their regulatory functions.

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