The Minister of Youth and Sports Mr. Sunday Dare has said that the desire of the present government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is to formulate a policy that will ensure sports becomes the means of livelihood for many Nigerian.
He stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the Inter-ministerial Technical Session on Sports industry development with the theme: “Positioning sports as an industry-from concept to action” address at the two-day Nigerian Economic Summit Group NESG.
The two-day event organized by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and The Nigerian Economic Summit Group NESG, the minister noted that sports are a key sectors in driving the nation’s economy.
He expressed that the summit is coming for the first time in 59 years with the aimed of looking at sports as a viable business in Nigeria saying that the focus is to develop sports as a viable industry.
According to him, Sports as a viable business and we want to build a business model around the sports in Nigerian
“At the beginning of the second stanza of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Mr. President laid out in clear terms, specific targets for every sector of the economy within the Next Level Agenda of his administration. Derivable for the Sports Sector, within the Agenda can be categorized in the twin goals of developing appropriate Public-Private Partnership model and delivering on the establishment of a private sector-driven Sports Development Fund to support, as well as, invest in various programs and Sports facilities.
“The overarching goals of these initiatives aside the creation of wealth and jobs are to ensure the delivery of the dividends of good governance to the citizens and promote greater private sector investment in the Sports Sector.
“In order to achieve these set targets, the Sports Industry Thematic Group was born through the Ministry’s interactions with the organized private sector using the platform of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).
“Our desire to pursue this vigorously is in line with the declaration in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which states that “…sport to the realization of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives” (UNGA 2015, para. 37, 10).
“With this, the NESG and the Ministry are working on a policy framework for achieving these goals. Commendable progress has been made in this regard as we have now thought it necessary to move to the next phase of sharing this vision and to solicit the cooperation and buy-in of sister agencies as a prelude to launching to the larger private sector groups.
“The global practice is for the Private sector to partner with the Public sector in tapping into the business potentials of the Sports Sector, which has economic potentials, to develop policies, strategies, and interventions in ensuring economic growth and prosperity, which in turn, guarantees social and community development across all spheres.
“This trend requires a framework for tapping into the business potentials of sports development and its commercialization and is generally achieved through a National Sports Policy as the guidepost for overall national sports development; the promotion of a healthier society and the strengthening of appropriate regulations and legislations that support and facilitate sporting initiatives and activities.
“It is imperative that the National Sports Policy Document is tailored to reach a mutual understanding, vision, policy, and targets in the field of sports. It will also provide coordination and cooperation in the services and activities of the relevant public institutions, organizations and non-governmental organizations as well as other stakeholders,” he said