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Author: Eagletale
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Visit Egypt and see Nigeria’s backwardness



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[Image: eGYPT.jpg]

From the first moment of boarding the Egypt Air to when the flight landed at the Cairo International Airport, there was a seeming breath of fresh air. Though the atmosphere was charged, the freshness of the environment was welcoming.
The wonders of Egypt begin to unfold before you as you approach the edifice at the port of entry to the nation, which is the airport, the road network, the hotels, stadia, tourism, the people, and their economy.

The airport represents an exquisite edifice of what an airport should look like. None of the airports that Nigeria has is anyway near the structure at the Cairo Airport.

But it was not just the Cairo Airport or the road network in the city that blighted the image of Nigerian leaders abroad. It was the tournament: The Egypt 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Though the football fiesta may have come and gone, the memory of the biennial tournament would live long in supporters, journalists, and tourists who were there either on their own or sponsored by Total, the official sponsor of the tournament, to witness the football fiesta in the land of Pharaoh.

Aside from some mouth-watering cash prizes and awards are given to the winner, first runner up and third-placed countries, other participating countries’ football teams, journalists, artists, staff and customers of the firm were also part of the party in Egypt courtesy Total.

Everyone taken to Egypt was put in a business class, five stars hotel and other allowances paid to make their stay in Egypt a memorable and enjoyable moment.
The tournament was renamed Total AFCON in July 2016, as a result of the oil giant’s eight-year sponsorship deal to help 10 of the Confederation of Africa (CAF) major competitions.

The journey of Total AFCON started with Gabon 2017 as host and Nigeria, three-time winner of the AFCON was missing after failing to book qualification.

The 2019 edition presented the Super Eagles and Nigeria another opportunity to be part of Total’s hospitality. The 2019 edition, initially given to Cameroun, was later handed to Egypt after Cameroun was stripped of the rights by CAF.

So excited about the trip to Cairo, the Executive General Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility of Total E&P Nigeria, Vincent Nnadi, said he came with his wife to feel the essence of Total’s sponsorship.

Speaking about his experience, he stated that Total’s commitment towards raising the standard of football in Africa was real.

“Total is a great friend of Africa and we feel obliged to be part of this development, especially for the teeming youths. One area we need to actually do that is in sports, and in which sport? It is football. So, we will continue to do that, as we know best. It is really a great discovery for my wife and me, being our first time in Egypt. And it is a great discovery to see the level of development in this country.

“It’s an amazing country with amazing infrastructure. We will definitely use this opportunity to feed our eyes and compare it with my dear own country. I have made friends and I will make sure I move around to explore the environment and see what awaits me in this beautiful Mediterranean city of Alexandria. I would have also loved to visit the great pyramids,” he stated.

Well, maybe there would have been a difference, but the Egyptians proved they were ready for the tournament even under short notice. The Egyptians won the rights after a stiff competition from South Africa, which also showed interest to stage the tournament at short notice. The land of Pharaoh then had the luck to be the second host country of Total AFCON and the 36th edition of Africa’s best football gala.

At the signing of the contract with CAF, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Total, Patrick Pouyanné, had said the firm was happy with the opportunity to contribute to the growth of the sport in Africa.

“As a leading multinational in its field, with strong ties to Africa, Total will make a significant contribution to CAF’s initiatives to foster personal and professional growth for young Africans.

“We are delighted to partner CAF because Africa is part of Total’s make up. Through this commitment, we hope to strengthen ties with our stakeholders and customers through exciting, celebratory events that are always popular, including within our own teams.”

A guest at Nigeria versus Guinea encounter was the Guinean music icon, Soul Bang, who said he was thrilled with the atmosphere at the Alexandria Stadium, adding, “It was a great opportunity to be part of the AFCON’s atmosphere.”

Hany El Sayed, who is the designer of the trophy awarded to the Man of the Match prize, said he was grateful for the honour to be one of the organisers’ guests. “The respect accorded me today, as the designer whose work was picked for the Man of the Match award and to also present it to the winner between Madagascar and Burundi is great,” he explained. But what is so special about Total AFCON 2019 and why should Nigeria learn from Egypt?

Despite scarce resources, with little or no rainfall, the country has been able to break boundaries and depending largely on the Mediterranean Sea for drinking, irrigation and the rest.

I was terribly disappointed with Nigeria. Nigeria is a country that God has richly endowed with human and material resources and yet one wonders what really is wrong with her or the “leaders”.