The Dutchman was head coach of the Eagles that qualified Nigeria for its first FIFA World Cup, won Nigeria’s first Africa Cup of Nations title on away soil and reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in USA.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who made the presentation said he was very happy that after many years of promise, government had finally fulfilled its promise.
“Mr. Westerhof ended our long –time search for a FIFA World Cup ticket and afterwards went on to lead the team to Africa Cup of Nations glory. As a nation, we made promises, but there was no follow-up,” he said.
“I want the NFF to document those members of the squad that have not received their houses in the FCT as promised and as soon as we receive this, we will respond positively.
“I was made aware that the promises had not been fulfilled through a letter by the assistant coach, Mr. Johannes Bonfrere, and we arranged for him to get his own in December 2017.
“Six months later, at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, a prominent journalist, Mr. Onochie Anibeze, brought it to my notice that the head coach, Mr. Westerhof was yet to receive his own house.
“We immediately initiated the process which has culminated in today’s event.”
The 2nd Vice President of NFF, Mallam Shehu Dikko, who represented NFF President Amaju Pinnick at the occasion, praised the initiative of Fashola and his ministry, saying the redemption of the pledge was a positive sign to footballers and other sportsmen and women that promises would always be fulfilled, no matter how long it took.
In his reaction, an obviously elated Westerhof, who flew into Nigeria from The Netherlands on Sunday night, said: “I am overjoyed. I want to thank the Nigerian Government for this, and I want to assure you that you will now see more of me in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is my second fatherland, and I am proud of what we were able to achieve with the players in those years,” he said.
“They were disciplined, dedicated and determined to lift Nigeria high, and we took Nigeria from 79th position to fifth in the world.
“I am thankful. However, I feel sad that some of my players have left us. May their souls rest in peace.”