By Albert Akot
Rangers International will soon be floated on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), an official of the Administrative Commission of Inquiry on Rangers confirmed yesterday.
Based on the submissions made by the commission, the Enugu State Government will likely divest its shares and stakes in Rangers soon.
About two months ago the state government had set up the Administrative Commission of Inquiry, which had been looking into the club’s activities.
The seven-time Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions who won the 2015/16 title about 32 years after the last time had a poor outing in the 2016/17 season.
A member of the commission, Norbert Okolie, said that putting the club’s shares at the NSE was part of the major recommendations made by the commission.
Okolie, who is also the Chairman of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Enugu State, said the commission’s report was submitted to the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on Friday.
He said the commission, after duly considering a deluge of memoranda submitted, noted that Rangers being a big brand in the football business should enjoy and leverage on this.
“This can only be, by lifting the burden of sponsorship from the state government.”
Okolie disclosed that the commission also suggested that the club’s ownership should be spread to other south-east states and other lovers of the club.
“Thirty-five per cent of the shares will be reserved for the Enugu State Government, while 32 per cent will be for the four states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo at 8 per cent each.
“Twenty-five per cent will be for the general public, six per cent for the Amalgamated Traders Association, one per cent for Rangers Supporters’ Club and one per cent for Ohaneze Ndigbo.
“This is what was suggested by the commission headed by Professor Gab Agu,’’ he said.
Okolie also said the formation of Rangers’ female football club and basketball team were equally recommended by the commission.
“This is for maximum benefits to be gained by the shareholders and teeming youths of the states in particular and the nation in general,” he said.
Ugwuanyi, while receiving the commission’s 52-page report, had promised to present the document for State Executive Committee (SEC) deliberations and quick implementation of recommendations.
Meanwhile, Ogunbote will now replace Sylvanus Okpala, whose two-month stop-gap managerial role will run yesterday.
“Ogunbote has signed as Rangers new coach,” an official of the Enugu State sports ministry said.
“He will resume in the first week of November when Sylvanus Okpalla’s two-month deal would have expired.”
He has previously handled Sunshine Stars, Giwa FC, and Shooting Stars. Ogunbote was in Enugu for contract talks with Rangers. But what has not been decided as at now is what government will do with Okpala at the end of his two-month deal.