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Experts advocate boosting Nigeria’s sports industry for economic growth

Economic experts have called for the full optimisation of Nigeria’s sports industry in stimulating economic growth, stating that the sector is capable of contributing N2 million in the country’s revenue profile.

Speaking at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit pre-summit webinar themed “Re-categorization of Sports as a Business Sector of the Economy: Partnership Imperatives” held recently, Sunday Dare, Minister for Youth and Sports Development, in his keynote address said the sports industry which is a labor-intensive growth industry is being re-categorized as a business venture beyond recreation based on its capacity to spur economic growth.

“This move prioritizes the industry and fosters its eligibility for incentives, development of metrics for impact measurement, consideration for special funding by the Central Bank of Nigeria, creation of jobs and tax rebate, the sports industry can deliver N2 trillion revenue in the next 5 to 10 years for Nigeria and this can help to drive the largest real estate and infrastructure development in the country however it will require $500 million annual investment in sports infrastructure” he explained.

Yemi Kale, Statistician-general of the federation, said that Sports is valued at $500 billion globally, however, the sector accounts for 0.005 percent of Nigeria’s GDP which is not good enough.

“Sports remains a small business in Nigeria but has the potential to be much bigger, we need to agree on what sporting activities should constitute and focus on data integrity, collaboration with relevant agencies and most importantly ensuring the steady funding for data computing as related to the sports industry.” Kale stated.

Similarly, Hubu Gumel, President, Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) said that sports is a viable business and national federations need to work with others to take the game to the grassroots to drive mass participation.

Gumel who was represented by Francis Orbih, President, Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) Francis Orbih said “if properly administered, the sports industry has a huge potential for youth employment, however, it requires proper governance structure that will attract the private sector” he added.

The pre-summit was held ahead of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit themed “Building Partnerships for Resilience” scheduled to hold from October 26th – 27th, 2020 with discussions at hovering on three pillars – Collaboration, Execution and Impact – and dimensioned across five sub-themes: mapping the future, new trends, new opportunities, new horizons, embracing technology and innovation; building resilience and charting the path to recovery.

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