The fifth and final leg of the NESG’s Sports industry thematic group (SITG) of the Tourism Hospitality, Entertainment, Creatives and Sports as a business Policy Commission (THECS) Stakeholders engagement session in Lagos held today the 27th of February, 2020 with Donor agencies, Multilaterals and Multinationals meeting to deliberate on the development of Nigeria’s sports industry. The session was preceded by the fourth engagement session where professional and trade groups met, 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 and said that Donor agencies, Multilaterals and Multinationals have a huge role to play in the development of Nigeria’s Sports industry. She thanked all volunteers for the hard work they have put in over the years for the development of the sports industry and Nigeria at large.
Head of the SITG, Mrs. Nkechi Obi in her opening remarks said that Nigeria needs to do more to measure up with other countries as regards participation in international competitions and the business side of sports. She made it known that the existing National Sports Policy draft doesn’t fully address the needs of Nigeria’s Sports Industry and the engagement sessions over the weeks were aimed at finding a way to convert the passion Nigerians have for sports into money.
While delivering a presentation on Sports Industry Development, Mr. Femi Abioye revealed that Nigeria’s Sports industry has a number of trigger points including talent management, sponsorship and ticketing that can help create an alternative source of revenue for the country. He reiterated the importance of sports in promoting healthy living and that if proper reforms are undertaken in the sports industry, it can aid in the development of a sports goods manufacturing sector and also encourage the effective collection of taxes among Nigerians. Mr. Abioye in conclusion mentioned that the outcome of the day’s session has the potential to help create six to 10 million jobs within the next five years and can also help to effectively make the educational sector the bedrock of the sports industry.
Afterwards, there were two breakout sessions with Donor agencies, Multilaterals and Multinationals 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.