The second stakeholder’s engagement session on sports industry development on educational institutions held today at the Summit House, Ikoyi Lagos. Todays engagement session is a follow up to the first stakeholders engagement session of the media entertainment/ ancillary group which was preceded by 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).
Mr. Wilson Erumebor, Senior Economist with the NESG welcomed participants to the days session and said that the deliberations forms part of the strategic roles of the NESG; which is to ensure the transformation of the Nigerian economy into a modern and globally competitive one.
The head of the Sports industry thematic group (SITG), Mrs. Nkechi Obi revealed that it has been interesting and challenging working with the NESG for four years to ensure that the business side of sports is recognized in Nigeria. She stated that education is an important contributor to the sports industry, as it could potentially contribute as much as 50 percent to the business side of the sports industry while other sectors including health and tourism share the remaining 50 percent. Mrs. Obi said that the engagement was to ensure that the National Sports policy is driven by stakeholder ideas.
A sports consultant and volunteer with the NESG, Mrs. Elizabeth Okogun during her presentation revealed that education plays a major role in the sports industry ecosystem, especially as it relates to talent management. She reiterated that sports has been identified as one of the elements capable of helping Nigeria achieve seven out of the eleven sustainable development goals (SDG’s).
Mrs. Okogun revealed that Nigeria presently has a stadium to population ration of 1 to 5 million as opposed to the international recommended standard of 1 to 300,000. She concluded by saying that the outcome of the interactive session will among other things help to clearly outline the role of educational institutions to the development of the sports industry.
Some of the stakeholders’ present include Professor Stephen Hamafyelto and Bola Orodele of the Nigerian Universities Games Association (NUGA), Dr. Kweku Tandoh CEO Sports Connect Consultancy and Dr. S.E Ebhojiaye of the federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
Afterwards, there were four breakout sessions with stakeholders discussing investments, infrastructure, incentives and policies respectively with regards to educational institutions and the role it has to play in 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.