Following the first Inter-ministerial session on Sports industry development and signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the private sector and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) Sports industry thematic group of the Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Creatives and Sports as a Business policy commission (THECS) met for a stakeholder’s engagement session concerned with the development of the sports industry.
While welcoming everyone to the event, Ms. Titilope Oni, acting head of Think Tank operations of the NESG welcomed everyone to the session. She revealed that the input of all stakeholders was important and necessary to the economic growth and development of Nigeria. She made it known that as an advocacy group, the NESG was committed to transforming Nigeria’s economy into a modern and globally competitive one.
Head of the Sports Industry Thematic Group (SITG), Mrs. Nkechi Obi while delivering the opening remarks said that the engagements leading up to the present stakeholder engagement session went as far back as 2017 and it led up to the first inter-ministerial session on sports development in 2019. She made it known that the recommendations from the inter-ministerial session called for the stakeholder engagement session to fine tune the draft of the National Sports Policy document.
Tonte Davies, a researcher and volunteer with the NESG while delivering his presentation on sports industry development – media entertainment and sports industry ancillary group mentioned that Nigeria has a huge sports consumer population that should be leveraged on for growth and economic development. He mentioned that Nigeria’s sports ecosystem can be widened to include finance institutions, trade groups, professional groups, donor agencies and media and entertainment groups.
He reiterated that sports has the capacity to be a major revenue spinner for the country, especially considering the fact that the sports bet industry in Nigeria is worth about 2 billion dollars with 60 million punters between the ages of 18 – 40 years and an average daily spend of 3,000 Naira. He rounded up by saying the aim of the sessions were to clearly outline the role of stakeholders in the development of the sports industry.
Afterwards, there were four breakout sessions with stakeholders discussing investments, infrastructure, incentives and policies respectively with regards to the development of the sports industry.
The stakeholder engagement sessions will continue for two weeks as stakeholder groups belonging to Media/entertainment, educational institutions, development finance institutions/ trade groups and National council of sports and sports federations hold deliberations on the development of the sports industry. Other stakeholder groups expected to join the sessions are Public Sector – Federal and State Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, Professional Groups and Multilaterals/donor agencies.