The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports held an inter-ministerial technical session on sports industry development with the theme ‘Positioning Sports as an Industry – from concept to Action’ at the NESG liaison office, Unity Bank Towers, Abuja, FCT on the 21st and 22nd of November, 2019.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NESG, Mr. ‘Laoye Jaiyeola while welcoming participants to the session revealed that the session was a culmination of several months of engagement and that the present advocacy to make the Nigerian Sports industry a viable one was evidence-driven. He thanked members of the Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment Creatives and Sports as a Business (THECS) policy commission and the Sports thematic group of the NESG for their pro-bono services and passion to see that the sports industry grows to enviable heights. He reiterated that if the sports industry is properly developed, it has the ability to provide jobs for Nigeria’s teeming youths and that the inter-ministerial session will help to find ways to increase investment drive in the industry and also promote sports for socio-economic development.
The minister for Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare while delivering the opening remarks revealed that his ministry will not only partner with the NESG for sports development, but will also ensure that it provides support in whatever capacity it can to drive the development of Nigeria’s sports and entertainment industry. He made it known that the work the session sets out to do is critical, especially considering the fact that Nigeria’s population is expected to cross the 400 million mark by the year 2050 and that sports can help to provide jobs for the teeming populace and also offer an alternative source of revenue to drive socio-economic development.
The minister made it known that the inter-ministerial session aims to achieve two core objectives including providing structural reforms and generating new sources of revenue for development. The Minister while highlighting the importance of content in sports said, “Sports is worth nothing without content. We have a sports industry without content. Years ago, we watched every league match on television, we sat down for 3 hours just to watch a 100m dash blast that would last for 2 minutes and suddenly, all of that disappeared. Our domestic league’s content also disappeared. Thankfully the LMC is taking proactive steps in that direction. When we finally signed our MOU for the Olympics marketing, you will know that we have also started that new process”, he disclosed.
Furthermore, Mr. Dare noted that it has become imperative for Nigeria to have a National sports industry policy that will be aimed at building and transforming the sports industry. He said that the success of a national sports policy will be adjudged by how it can influence the development of the sports industry and the growth of Nigeria in general.
While delivering a technical presentation on Positioning Sports as an industry – from concept to action, Technical lead of the Sports thematic group of the NESG, Mrs. Nkechi Obi noted that sports was the largest earner of the creative industry and that it is a huge contributor to the health and wellbeing of individuals and the society at large. She made it known that there is a need to develop the value chain of the sports industry by monetizing the passion the Nigerian people have for sports; and that the goal was to deliver a National sports policy and a framework for the development of the Nigerian sports industry.
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) is a non-profit, non-partisan private sector organisation with a mandate to promote and champion the reform of the Nigerian economy into an open, private sector-led globally competitive economy. It was established in 1996 by a group of passionate and concerned private sector leaders as a platform for bringing together private sector leaders and senior public sector officials to discuss and dialogue on the future of the Nigerian Economy.
Over the years, the NESG has achieved significant progress in the areas of research outputs, execution of programmes, seminars, conferences and workshops aimed at facilitating the formulation and implementation of social and economic reform programmes for the growth and transformation of the Nigerian economy. The NESG has emerged as the most notable platform for public-private dialogue in Nigeria, and has also established an excellent working relationship with the Government of Nigeria, the public sector, private sector, and other stakeholders.