The Nigerian Economic Summit Group’s (NESG) Sports Industry Thematic Group of the Tourism Hospitality, Entertainment, Creatives and Sports as a business Policy Commission (THECS) held the fourth Stakeholders engagement session on sports industry development today the 24th of February, 2020 with professional and trade groups meeting to deliberate on how to move the industry forward. The session was the fourth engagement session which was preceded by the third engagement session on Development Finance, Financial and Investment Institutions, the first ever Inter-ministerial session on Sports industry development and signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the private sector represented by the NESG and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
Acting Head of Think Tank operation at the NESG, Ms. Titilope Oni, while welcoming participants to the day’s event said that the proceedings of the session will form part of the policy deliberations at the National Sports Policy dialogue taking place later in the year.
Ms. Nkechi Obi, head of the Sports industry Thematic Group (SITG) made it known that Nigeria was currently operating on a 2009 Sports policy that has been discovered not to be fit for purpose. She said a lack of investment gaps and structure in the sports industry called for the stakeholder engagement session to help draft a policy that will be backed by infrastructure, investments and incentives to create a viable sports industry.
A research consultant and volunteer with the NESG, Mr. Telema Davies while delivering his presentation said that the sports industry ecosystem was built around a number of key factors including infrastructure and merchandising. He reiterated that Nigeria currently has 13.2 million out of school children and with about 65 percent of the population between the age of 18 to 30 years, sports can help to provide a stop gap for the out of school children and also an alternative source of revenue for the government. He concluded by saying that if proper reform processes are implemented, 6 to 10 million jobs can be created from the sports industry within the next ten years.
Afterwards, there were three breakout sessions with professionals and trade groups discussing investments, infrastructure, incentives and policies respectively and the role it has to play in the development of the sports industry.
The stakeholder engagement sessions will continue 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.