The last stakeholder engagement session of the NESG’s Sports industry thematic group (SITG) of the Tourism Hospitality, Entertainment, Creatives and Sports as a business Policy Commission (THECS) held today the 6th of March, 2020 with stakeholders from the National council of Sports and various Sports federations meeting to deliberate on the development of Nigeria’s sports industry.
The last session was preceded by five different sessions where Donor agencies, Multilaterals and Multinationals; Professional and Trade groups; Development Finance, Financial and investment Institutions; Educational institutions and Media, entertainment and Ancillary groups met respectively to deliberate and draw inputs for a new National Sports Policy.
The Stakeholder engagement sessions were also preceded by 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.
Mr. Ifedolapo Falope, Public Policy intelligence and reform manager at the NESG welcomed participants to the session and stated that the NESG is a private sector led think tank concerned about the growth and development of Nigeria. He reiterated that as an organization, the NESG continues to engage in Public-private dialogue to ensure that the country gets the best at all times.
Head of the Sports industry Thematic group of the Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Creatives and Sports as a Business policy commission of the NESG, Mrs. Nkechi Obi while welcoming participants to the session said that the sports federations are a core part of the Sports industry and that their input will ensure that Nigeria gets a national policy that will not only help Nigeria perform better at sports but also help the industry become an alternative revenue source for the country.
While delivering a presentation on Sports industry development, Mr. Tonte Davies revealed that Nigeria’s performance on key socio-economic indicators was poor with over 23 million under-employed citizens. He however mentioned that with over 50 percent participation in sports, Nigeria can increase non-oil revenue and also reduce unemployment.
“Oil and gas exports contributes 80 percent revenue but sports can help to cut the share down by increasing market opportunities and job opportunities for game masters, merchandising and improve health.” Mr. Davies stated. Furthermore, he made it known that good governance, transparency and accountability will all help to fast track the development of Nigeria’s sports policy as these factors help to ensure that the best policies are implemented in the sports industry.
Afterwards, there were two breakout sessions on Incentives/ policy and infrastructure/ investments respectively with regards to the roles of federations in the development of the Sports industry.
The stakeholder engagement sessions came to an end after weeks of deliberations from professionals cutting across various fields. The inputs from thesessions will form part of the policy deliberations at the National Sports Policy dialogue taking place later in the year.