The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on sports as a business on the 17th of December 2019 at the NESG secretariat, Ikoyi Lagos. This is the first-ever MoU in the history of Nigeria on Sports Industry development between the Federal Ministry of Youth and sports development and the organized private sector.
Speaking at the event, the Vice-Chairman of the NESG, Mr Niyi Yusuf stated that this is the first-ever MoU on sports industry development and that the day’s event was preceded by a number of milestones including; the first Inter-ministerial technical session involving ten ministries and several departments and agencies of the federal government, establishment of a sports industry working group between the FMYSD and the NESG, a business round-table session on Sports Industry development and establishment of the Eminent Focal Group (EFG) as the resource arm to drive the work of the thematic group in the development of the sports industry.
“The milestones form the cornerstone of the NESG/FMYSD collaboration to ensure that we are jointly successful in driving new revenue and employment streams for the socio-economic development of Nigeria as has been successfully done in many other countries.” Mr. Yusuf concluded.
Afterwards, the Honourable minister for youth and sports development, Mr. Sunday Dare thanked the NESG for all the work it has done since its creation and particularly in the past few years for the sports industry. He reiterated that the NESG is more than a group, and that it is a repository of ideas and expertise that are the keys to Nigeria’s economic revival. He noted that the NESG is an important stakeholder in the economic development of Nigeria, “they are always providing strategic inputs to policy and helping to reshape the thinking in Government, it has transformed itself into a formidable think-tank that no Government should ignore. We are happy to be associated with you.” Mr. Dare stated.
Furthermore, Mr. Dare stated that he was intent on changing the fundamentals of engagement in the Sports Industry before changing the narratives. He noted that despite the paucity of funds the Sports Industry faced, the MoU would help to transform the sports industry into a sector that creates jobs and revenue. ‘We intend to move from concept to action, and today we are giving bite to that intention by signing this MoU. The establishment of the Nigeria Sports Industry Policy, which will eventually culminate in an Act of the National Assembly that will spell the rules and regulation on the playing field,’ Mr. Dare stated. The honourable minister made it known that he believes that when we have and implement the right policies to drive social engagement and inclusion as well as economic development, the sports industry in Nigeria is capable of harnessing the economic power of the youth through engagement in sports.
The MoU signing was attended by CEO United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), Nkechi Obi, Obi Asika and Yahaya Maikori (Eminent Focal Group of the NESG), Nkechi Onyenso, Titilope Oni and Yinka Iyinolakan of the NESG.
To conclude the event, Mr. Udeme Ufot, board member of the NESG and co-chair, Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Creatives and Sports as a business (THECS) policy commission thanked the sports ministry and the sports industry thematic group for their cooperation and said that the NESG will continue to work and champion the transformation of the Nigerian economy into a modern and globally competitive economy.
The Sports Industry Thematic Group (SITG) is one of the three thematic groups of the THECS Policy commission and it is focused on developing sports as a viable business to generate new streams of revenue, create jobs and also foster Nigeria’s socio-economic development.