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New policy will turn sports into money-spinning endeavor - FG

21st Sep, 2020 | By Gyang Dakwo | ||

Sports has evolved as a distinct economic sector and major revenue earner in countries where its capacity to deliver this contribution has been recognized and properly harnessed. In Nigeria however, this is not exactly the case because presently, it is difficult to measure the contribution of the sports sector to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as it is not yet a major economic activity in the country.

This is set to change as the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has said that major sport leagues and competitions in the country will contribute a projected 2-3% of the GDP when the new National Sports Policy is ratified and accented to by President Muhammadu Buhari. Dare made the remark at an event marking the signing of a five-year, N150 million worth extension of title sponsorship deal for the men's National Division 1 &2 Leagues.

He said: "In June, the Federal Executive Council actually for the first time, reclassified sports from mere recreation to business. "Go to Jamaica, Brazil, South Africa; countries where sport is built around a business model, you see the returns. "In the UK, $42 billion every year, in the US $38 billion every year, globally $1.3 trillion, in Nigeria 350 million. Now we want to explore the possibilities, the potentials, so that this country can also try to reap from sports as a business."

What this means is that as opposed to the present situation where government is the major sponsor of sports and provision of sports infrastructure in Nigeria, the new policy seeks to amend these, enabling the industry contribute immensely to the economy. It is estimated that sports in Nigeria generates about N350 million annually. Most of the big leagues have either resumed or are set to resume from the break caused by coronavirus pandemic following the Federal Government's approval for the return of non-contact and some contact sports.

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