NFF collaborates with Ministry of Interior for girl-child initiative

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President of NFF, Ibrahim Gusau

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Ministry of Interior are teaming up to leverage football as a catalyst for education, skill development, and leadership among young women in correctional facilities nationwide, according to a report made by YEPS.

The collaborative initiative, aligned with the Confederation of African Football’s Football for Change project, was presented to Minister of Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo on Tuesday by an NFF delegation led by President Ibrahim Gusau.

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Aisha Falode, NFF Executive Committee Member and Chair of the Women’s Football Sub-Committee, introduced the NFF’s initiative titled ‘Football Good-Naija; EmpowerHer’. She highlighted the increasing number of women in correctional facilities across Nigeria, including those awaiting trial and those already convicted.

President Gusau emphasized the NFF’s commitment to community service beyond football matches, stating, “We are poised to use football as a tool to collaborate with relevant agencies and ministries to initiate processes for reforming and rehabilitating these young women. Our goal is to reintegrate them into society as productive individuals.”

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Minister Tunji-Ojo praised the initiative, acknowledging the NFF’s broader societal role. “I am impressed by this presentation, which underscores the NFF’s commitment to community responsibilities alongside its role in preparing our national teams,” he said. He emphasized the project’s potential to fill gaps in post-correctional center support, providing hope and practical pathways for rehabilitation.

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The project draws inspiration from CAF’s gender empowerment initiatives, which have already piloted successful programs in Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Liberia. In Sierra Leone, for instance, 25 incarcerated women at the Freetown Correctional Centre benefited from the CAF D License Coaching Course, demonstrating the positive impact of sports-based empowerment programs in correctional settings.

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