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Ministry, NESG hold first inter-ministerial summit on sports development

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Sports Minister, Sunday Dare

The Sports Ministry and National Economic Summit Group (NESG) will hold an inter-ministerial talk shop to address the needs of the sports sector.

According to Head, Corporate Communications at NESG, Yinka Iyinolakan, the summit is an outcome of a meeting between the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, and the NESG on the need to reposition sports as a business and not as a social service sector in order to make it more attractive to the organised private sector.

Iyinolakan said, “The ministry and the NESG resolved to escalate the conversation on the need to institutionalize sports as a private sector led industry in line with global best practices and the agenda to develop youth-based vibrant sectors to drive the Nigerian economy.

“Consequently, the ministry consented to the plan to host the First Inter-Ministerial Technical Session on Sports Industry Development, scheduled to hold on November 21 and Friday 22 at the VIP Lounge of Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja FCT. But for other logistical considerations, the venue has now shifted to the NESG Office at Unity Tower, Herbert Macaulay Way, Abuja.”

According to Iyinolakan, the technical session will bring together seven ministers from selected key ministries, including education, information and culture, women affairs, industry, trade and investment, finance, budget and national planning, youth and sports development and humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development.

“They will brainstorm in sector-specific breakout sessions, and harmonise cross-cutting, cross-sectorial issues with significant impact on the development of a reformed and repositioned sports industry in the country.”

He said the inter-ministerial technical session would develop a pathway for constant dialogue and engagement between the private and public sectors to chart a sustainable course for unlocking the potential of the sports industry and create enabling development of the whole gamut of the value chain of sports.

“Through this pathway, it is expected that the reform of the sports industry will contribute to the socio-economic indices of the Nigerian economy by increasing participation in sport, enabling the creation of jobs, promoting greater employment of youth, generating revenues from sport-related activities and targeting a GDP contribution of 2-3 per cent to the Nigerian economy within 5 to 10 years.”

Iyinolakan added that the outcome of the inter-ministerial technical and the proceedings of the breakout sessions would form an integral part of the ongoing reform process towards a new national sports industry policy that would accommodate objectives of all stakeholders in the public, social enterprise and private sectors for a vibrant sports industry capable of contributing to the growth of the socio-economic indices of the Nigerian economy.

Apart from the seven ministers, the summit will also “feature heads of their relevant departments and agencies as well as selected chieftains from various economic sectors, multilateral agencies, social enterprise organisations and experts in both academic and practice of sports,” Iyinolakan submitted.


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