Today, the 19th of February 2020, the Sports Industry Thematic Group (SITG) of the Tourism Hospitality, Entertainment, Creatives and Sports Policy Commission (THECS) of the NESG held a National Sports industry Policy stakeholders’ interactive session on Development finance, Financial and investment institution on the development of the sports industry. The session was the third engagement session which was preceded by the second stakeholders engagement session on Educational institutions, the first stakeholders engagement session of the media entertainment/ ancillary group; and the first Inter-ministerial session on Sports industry development and signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the private sector represented by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
Head of Think tank operations at the NESG, Mrs. Titilope Oni while welcoming participants to the session mentioned that the NESG was concerned with instituting change through a public-private dialogue model. She revealed that the engagement sessions were particularly important as they will form part of the policy draft that will make up the National Sports Policy.
In her opening remarks, head of the SITG, Mrs. Nkechi Obi said that the days session will focus on development finance, financial and investment institutions and how they can incentivize and transform the sports industry into an alternative revenue source for the country and also help reduce unemployment in Nigeria.
Mr. Adedami Adedotun while delivering a technical presentation on Development Finance, Financial and Investment Institutions made it known that development finance institutions can help provide finance for investors interested in investing in the sports industry which can help promote the growth of the Nigerian economy. He reiterated that a large fraction of the sports infrastructure chain is reliant on the real estate sector and that makes it important for stakeholders to see the sports industry as a real estate sector which can not only provide the needed infrastructure but can also ensure a return on investments. He concluded by saying that Nigeria requires an annual investment of US$500 million for the next five years to be able to become a huge sports powerhouse.
Afterwards, there were three breakout sessions with stakeholders discussing investments, infrastructure and incentives/policies respectively with regards to Development finance, Financial and investment institution and the role it has to play in the development of the sports industry.
The stakeholder engagement sessions will continue for one week as stakeholder groups belonging to National council of sports and sports federations hold deliberations on the development of the sports industry. Other stakeholder groups expected to join the sessions are Public Sector – Federal and State Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, Professional Groups and Multilaterals/donor agencies.