Blog: Sports Nigeria: Moving Sports from Recreation to Business

Posted Thu, Jul 28, 2022 3:32 PM

On Thursday, 21st of July 2022, Sports Nigeria a private sector-led initiative aimed at charting a business-oriented pathway for sports development in Nigeria was launched.

It can be recalled that in July 2020, the federal government recategorised sports as a business sector of the Nigerian economy. Nigeria's sports industry was transformed based on private sector initiative and investment into the ancillary sector of the sports value chain. The recategorisation of Nigeria's sports industry was a commemoration of a two-year engagement process of the sports industrialization plan of the sports ministry by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the federal ministry of youth and sports development and to examine how to reposition the sports sector from a purely participatory endeavour to a business and viable industry driven by the private sector. The recategorisation of Nigeria's sports industry is an outcome of several deliberations and stakeholder engagements at various Nigerian Economic Summits (NES), including #NES22, #NES23 and #NES24, which served as a fulcrum for the transformation of sports from recreation to business.

The strategy for this transformation includes addressing the infrastructure gap as a catalyst for the development of sports across all sectors of the value chain, attracting investments for the development of the sports industry and applying incentives to attract the quantum of assets needed for the sports industry. Others include ensuring the private sector's inclusion in the sports industry's development through market-based policies and incentives and creating policies that will provide for investments in infrastructure development as the foundation for a vibrant and sustainable sports industry.

The policy goal for Nigeria's sports industry should ensure mass participation, contribute to Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), create 2 to 3 million direct and indirect jobs, and aid infrastructure and facility development. Furthermore, the policy goal should ensure increased tax revenue, improved wellness productivity and life expectancy, encourage sports tourism and increase foreign direct investment. Gender inclusion and balance and reduction in educational and medical tourism by 15 to 20 per cent is also an important policy goal that will aid the transformation of the industry.

In light of the above, Sports Nigeria was created as a private sector-led initiative to aggregate, facilitate and enable the requisite investments into the sports sector and aid the achievement of the objective of a vibrant, sustainable sports industry across the value of the entire sports chain, according to the outline of the sports industry policy. 

Established in 2021, sports Nigeria is a limited by guarantee private sector initiative set up to assist in aggregating the quantum of investments required to trigger the objectives of a repositioned sports industry by engaging with the private and social enterprise sectors to facilitate the development of the value chain of the sports industry and to complement government’s role in sports development. 


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