The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, has announced that sports in Nigeria will now be treated as a business with the aim of contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He made this statement while inaugurating a 10-man technical committee on “National Sports as Business Policy” in Abuja.
The minister stated that the new policy is in line with global practice and will help alleviate the financial burden on the government.
The committee, led by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, will work out the details of the incentives that will be part of the National Sports as Business Policy.
“For over three years now, the ministry has been at work reviewing past sports policies and also dealing with the weaknesses therein.
“Looking at about 10 countries that dominate the world of global sports, the ministry decided to look at sports as business, which, if handled appropriately, can among others, contribute to the annual GDP of the country.
Dare added that the policy will provide employment for about 2 to 5 million youth, grants, and scholarships for athletes, and contribute to the annual GDP of the country. The minister emphasized that investment, incentives, and infrastructure are the three things that drive sports as a business, and funding will come from the government and the private sector.
“It can also provide employment for about 2 to 5 million youth, grants, other necessary supports as well as scholarships for athletes,” he said.
The permanent secretary of the ministry and a representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance and National Planning both expressed their support for the new policy and called on private individuals and stakeholders to participate in the initiative.