Ighodalo explains criteria used in choosing Nigeria Pitch Awards’ final nominees

MANAGING Director of SIAO Partners, Itua Ighodalo, whose company collated and sorted out the nominees for the various categories of the 2015 Nigeria Pitch Awards, has revealed the process that led to the selection of the final contestants.

  Speaking on Monday in Lagos while presenting the list of nominees to officials of Match Consult, organisers of the awards, Ighodalo described the occasion as the “culmination of a long, professional, painstaking process of distribution, retrieval, collation and verification of the nominations and voting for the Nigeria Pitch Awards.”    

  He added that the occasion confirmed his company’s “determination as a world class accounting and auditing firm to provide professional auditing services to all segments of the Nigerian society: manufacturing, banking, financial services, oil and gas and now football.”

  According to Ighodalo, When Matchmakers Consult approached SIAO Partners to provide professional auditing services to the Nigeria Pitch Awards, the company accepted the offer “because the process outlined by the organizers was open and transparent, detailed and credible.

  “We were also buoyed by the organizers’ determination to remain completely anonymous in the result collation process, thereby, adding required credibility to the award process. Let me state very clearly that SIAO Partners were responsible for the entire voting process and this was done without any interference from the organisers or their other partners. Matchmakers Consult International only provided the design of the nomination form, the names and addresses of voters.” 

  He revealed that the process was initially designed to accommodate 100 voters, adding, however, that time and other logistic challenges made the organizers to prone the number of voters down to 70, made up mainly of sports media personalities.

  Ighodalo disclosed that 70 per cent of the forms were returned completely filled, adding that the late return of completed forms forced the organisers to extend the voting to January 31, 2015. 

 While presenting the three top nominees in the 16 award categories, Ighodalo assured all the voters that their exact decisions in each category have been captured. He also assured them that the names of winners would remain confidential until the night of the award ceremony. 

  Earlier, the Managing Director of Matchmakers Consult, Shina Phillips, had explained that his company’s role in the Nigeria Pitch Awards is simply to midwife the process, which will give Nigerians a football awards of their own. 

 According to Phillips, “We are that spot on which voters, partners, footballers, journalists, sponsors, administrators and winners meet to celebrate the successes and achievements of Nigerian football stakeholders.

 He revealed that as organisers of the awards, Matchmakers Consult has no voting right, adding that the company’s “strategy from the onset has always been to let those who have built their careers monitoring footballers and football related-activities decide those who are worthy to our football heroes.” 

 He thanked SIAO Partners for undertaking the onerous task, while affirming his company’s trust in the professional ability of the consultants to deliver accurate and credible results, which represents the decisions of Nigerians.

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