Towards the development of sports and sporting activities as a business in the country, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has inaugurated the Steering Committee of the Sports Industry Working Group (SIWG).
During the inauguration in Abuja , yesterday , the c ommittee, which is a Public Private Dialogue (PPD) platform, was charged with the mandate to create effective synergy and ensure a close working relationship between the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG)
The Minister stated that the Steering Committee, which is made up of a 14-member committee of equal number representative from the public and private/social enterprise sectors of the economy, will work together to create advantageous environment and have proper policy in place to drive investments, incentives and also drive infrastructural development through sports.
‘’for us as a country the greatest challenge we have faced is that sports is not taken as a business and because sport is not business that is why a country like Nigeria has to start ‘Adopt an Athlete’s Fund’ to raise funds for the athletes because government fund is totally insufficient’’ he said.
He charged members of the Committee, reminding them that the Nigerian Sports sector and indeed all Nigerians look forward to the needed transformation in the sports industry, adding that the whole process will bring about the foundational structure we need to develop sports in Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and Co- Chairman (Public Sector) Sports Industry Working Group ( SIWG) Mr. Gabriel Aduda welcomed members of the newly inaugurated Steering Committee to what he termed as another face of sports development in Nigeria. He stressed that the Public Private Partnership in the sports industry will not only address the challenges we are facing in sports but will also make Nigeria compete favourably and globally.
Responding , the Co-chairman (Private Sector) of the Steering Committee, Sport Industry Working Group ( SIWG), Mr Ufot Udeme, affirmed that indeed the Ministry and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group is making history as both public and private sectors team up to turn the sports industry into an inclusive and economic transformation for national growth and development.
Udeme added that the Sports Industry Working Group is one of the major steps in the Road Map developed by the Ministry and working closely with the private sector as represented by the NESG to deliver a viable sports industry in Nigeria. He promised that the Private Sector is committed to playing its own part in the sports industrialisation agenda through investments into key infrastructure that will trigger the development of the ancillary sector of the industry, stressing that streams of revenue, job creation and socio- economic development we all know sports can deliver to any country will be achieved.