Complete List Of Nigeria Premier League Winners (1972-Present)

This guide comprehensively lists Nigeria Premier League (NPL) winners by year. Also, you will learn about the teams who have won the most NPL titles.

The Nigeria Premier League, also known as the Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL) is the top tier of club football in Nigeria’s league system.

Unfortunately, like many leagues, it has faced financial challenges and declining performance since the late 2000s.

However, the league is supported by the Nigeria National League (NNL) and is overseen by the Interim Management Committee Board led by Mr. Honourable Gbenga Elegbeleye.

READ ALSO: Complete CAF Confederation Cup Winners List (All-Time)

List Of Winners By Year

1972Mighty Jets
1973Bendel Insurance
1974Enugu Rangers
1975Enugu Rangers
1976Shooting Stars
1977Enugu Rangers
1978Racca Rovers
1979Bendel Insurance
1980Shooting Stars
1981Enugu Rangers
1982Enugu Rangers
1983Shooting Stars
1984Enugu Rangers
1985New Nigeria Bank FC
1986Leventis United
1987Iwuanyanwu Nationale
1988Iwuanyanwu Nationale
1989Iwuanyanwu Nationale
1990Iwuanyanwu Nationale
1991Julius Berger
1992Stationery Stores
1993Iwuanyanwu Nationale
1994BCC Lions
1995Shooting Stars
1996Udoji United
1997Dolphin FC
1998Shooting Stars
1999Lobi Stars
2000Julius Berger
2001Enyimba FC
2002Enyimba FC
2003Enyimba FC
2004Dolphin FC
2005Enyimba FC
2006Ocean Boys FC
2007Enyimba FC
2008Kano Pillars FC
2009Bayelsa United
2010Enyimba FC
2011Dolphin FC
2012Kano Pillars FC
2013Kano Pillars FC
2014Kano Pillars FC
2015Enyimba FC
2016Enugu Rangers
2017Plateau United FC
2018Championship canceled
2019Enyimba FC
2020Championship canceled due to Covid-19
2021Akwa United FC
2022Rivers United
2023Enyimba FC

List Of Teams with the Most Titles?

  • Enyimba FC – 9 titles
  • Enugu Rangers – 7 titles
  • Shooting Stars – 5 titles
  • Iwuanyanwu Nationale – 5 titles
  • Kano Pillars FC – 4 titles

1. Enyimba FC – 9 Titles

Enyimba FC

Enyimba Football Club is the most successful team in the Nigeria Premier League, having secured the title nine times.

Based in Aba, Abia State, Enyimba FC has been a prominent club in Nigerian football since its establishment in 1976. The name “Enyimba” decodes to “People’s Elephant” in the Igbo language.

In the early years, Enyimba faced challenges, struggling to compete against established football powerhouses. However, their fortunes changed in the 2000s under the leadership of Governor Orji Uzor Kalu and Chairman Felix Anyansi Agwu.

With substantial funding and strategic appointments, Enyimba won its first Nigerian championship title in 2001. Enyimba achieved international recognition by winning the African Champions League in 2003 and 2004, becoming the first Nigerian club to claim this prestigious title.

Their success on the continental stage makes them one of the biggest football clubs in African football. Despite facing challenges and setbacks in the following seasons, including crowd troubles and changes in coaching staff, Enyimba continued to maintain a strong presence in Nigerian football. It was obvious in winning the Nigerian FA Cup in 2013 and 2014.

2. Enugu Rangers – 7 Titles

Enugu Rangers

Enugu Rangers is the second team that has won the most Nigeria Premier League titles. They are based in Enugu and play their home matches at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.

Throughout their history, Enugu Rangers have maintained a strong presence in Nigerian football. They are one of the oldest clubs in the country and boast an impressive achievement: they have never been relegated from the Nigeria Premier League.

In the 1970s, Enugu Rangers won different tournaments and competed at the continental level. Led by notable players such as Christian Chukwu and Emmanuel Okala, Enugu Rangers enjoyed success in the 1980s, winning titles and establishing themselves as a dominant force in Nigerian football.

Although the 1990s presented lean years for the club, they continued to compete at a high level and made important contributions to Nigerian football.

Enugu Rangers saw a resurgence in the early 2000s, participating in continental competitions and finishing as league runners-up in 2005.

In recent years, Enugu Rangers have once again risen to prominence. They secured the Nigeria Premier League title in 2016, ending a long wait for championship glory.

Also, they claimed victory in the Nigerian Cup in 2018. The current season has seen Enugu Rangers performing admirably, with a strong showing in both home and away matches.

Under the guidance of coach Fidelis Ilechukwu, the team has positioned themselves as genuine contenders for the 2023-24 Nigeria Premier League title.

READ ALSO: CAF Champions League Winners List By Year

3. Shooting Stars – 5 Titles

Shooting Stars

The Shooting Stars Sports Club has won the most Nigeria Premier League titles, with 5 victories. In 1972, when the Nigerian Premier League was just starting, this club was one of the founding members.

At first, they were called WNDC Ibadan, which stood for Western Nigeria Development Company. Later on, they became known as IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan.

The name “Shooting Stars” was suggested by two people involved with the team, Jide Johnson and Niyi Omowon. They believed the players were like stars, shining brightly in their way.

Shooting Stars is popular in Nigeria. The team plays their home games at the Lekan Salami Stadium. This stadium is named after a big supporter of the club who passed away.

Before, they used to play at the Liberty Stadium, which was a famous venue that even hosted the World Youth Soccer Championship in 1999.

In 1971, they were the first team to win the FA Cup on a club basis in Nigeria. Some famous players from the past include Rashidi Yekini and Segun Odegbami.

They’ve also had success outside of Nigeria, winning the first edition of the CAF Cup by defeating Nakivubo Villa of Uganda 3-0 in the finals.

Plus, they won the African Cup Winners’ Cup in 1976, making them the first Nigerian club to win an international trophy.

However, the team has had its ups and downs. They were relegated to a lower division in 2006 but managed to get promoted again in 2009. Unfortunately, they were relegated once more in 2017.

4. Iwuanyanwu Nationale – 5 Titles

Iwuanyanwu Nationale

One of the teams that has won the most Nigeria Premier League titles is Iwuanyanwu Nationale, now known as Heartland Football Club.

Originally founded as Spartans FC in 1976, the club was later renamed Iwuanyanwu Nationale in 1985 under the ownership of Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.

They’ve won the title five times. Based in Owerri, Heartland FC plays its home games at the Dan Anyiam Stadium and their local rivals include Enyimba FC and Enugu Rangers.

The club reached the finals of the African Cup of Champions Clubs in 1988 and the CAF Champions League in 2009. From 1987 to 1990, they secured four consecutive Nigerian league titles during their prime.

They achieved notable success in the late 1980s, boasting players like Thompson Oliha, Benedict Iroha, and Uche Okechukwu.

However, tragedy struck in 1994 when a plane carrying the team crashed. Despite ups and downs, including a relegation in 2016, Heartland FC has remained a prominent figure in Nigerian football.

They bounced back quickly from relegation, spending just one year in the second division before returning to the top flight. They also secured the Federation Cup In 2011.

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5. Kano Pillars FC – 4 Titles

Kano Pillars FC

Kano Pillars Football Club, based in Kano, Nigeria, has also won the most Nigeria Premier League titles, totaling four victories.

The club was established in 1990, emerging from the amalgamation of three local amateur teams in Kano State: WRECA FC, Kano Golden Stars, and Bank of the North FC.

Kano Pillars claimed their first Premier League title during the 2007–08 season under the leadership of Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima.

In the 2020/2021 NPFL season, Kano Pillars faced a hefty fine of ₦7,500,000.00 for violating regulations set by the LMC and NFF, prohibiting spectators from attending live matches due to safety concerns.

This incident occurred during a match against Akwa United, where fan disruptions led to the game being concluded the following day, resulting in a goalless draw.

Without being affected by their achievements, Kano Pillars encountered setbacks, such as their relegation from the NPFL in July 2022.

This came after a penalty was imposed on the club for the misconduct of their former chairman towards match officials during a game against Dakkada FC, despite their appeal being disregarded by the NFF committee.

The club’s performance in continental competitions has also seen notable moments, earning them the nickname “Ahly Killers” after defeating Al Ahly Cairo with two goals in Egypt.

Their performance secured them a spot in the African Champions League group stage via the away goals rule. Although they got to the semi-finals, they were eventually eliminated by fellow Nigerian side Heartland.

In addition to their league successes, Kano Pillars has also won the Nigerian FA Cup twice, in 2019 and 1953, and claimed the Nigerian Super Cup in 2008.