EXCLUSIVE: Nigerian tycoon to sponsor Niger to AFCON
Niger defender Jimmy Bulus
Katsina-based major air transporter and businessman Mangal has agreed to make available one of his Boeing 747 planes to ferry Niger to and from South Africa.
“Mangal is a good friend of our President and he has graciously accepted to support Niger at the Nations Cup by providing us with a Boeing 747 plane that will take us to and from South Africa,” top Niger FA official Mohammed Sani told MTNFootball.com
“We will fuel the chartered aircraft, otherwise he would bear the other costs.
“This is a big assistance to Niger and we really appreciate it.
“His airline, Maxair, operates in Niger and he has several other business interests also in the country.”
This sponsorship is believed would save Niger at least about 50 million Naira.
Niger will be based in Port Elizabeth for the first round of matches. They are pitched against Ghana, Mali and DR Congo.
For their debut at the 2012 Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, Niger flew about 350 supporters.
Mangal rose to national prominence during the tenure of Late Umaru Musa Yar’adua as Nigeria President.
This year, his airline ferried the bulk of Nigerian pilgrims to the Holy land of Mecca for the annual Muslim pilgrimage.