The Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare, Thursday inaugurated the Steering Committee of the Sports Industry Working Group (SIWG).
The inauguration which was held at the Minister’s conference room at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja, is in furtherance of the Minister’s resolve to move sports away from being just Recreation to Business.
In his address, the Minister congratulated all members of the SIWG who he said may be the most important committee the sports sector in Nigeria will ever encounter, because of the work before them.
Giving a background to the SIWG, the Minister said, “It is a Public Private Dialogue (PPD) platform established with a mandate to create synergy and ensure a closer working relationship between my Ministry and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) so as to harmonize and harness the work done by both the NESG and the Ministry to unlock the potentials of the Sports Industry and deliver its benefits to the public, private and social enterprise sectors, with a view to supporting the delivery of the short, medium and long term Ministerial Strategies for driving the growth of the Sports Industry in Nigeria”.
The Minister said the SIWG was part of the recommendations by Inter-Ministerial Technical Session on Sports Industry Development held late last year as a governing structure where it rested the authority of the Apex decision-making and approval of the SIWG in what it called the Steering Committee which sets the strategic direction for the Working Group.
“Further to this, the Inter-Ministerial Technical Session on Sports Industry Development addressed cross-sectoral, cross cutting issues affecting the development of sports as a business in Nigeria. The session made far reaching recommendations on delivering solutions based on 4 Key Trigger Issues – 3Is and 1P Infrastructure, Investments, Incentives and Policy.
On infrastructure, the Minister said the focus was to address the infrastructure gaps as the main trigger for catalyzing the development of the sports industry across all segments of the value chain of the sector, while adding that the investments aims to determine the quantum of investments required to achieve the goals and targets outlined for developing the industry with an Annual revenue target of N2 Trillion, 1.5%-3% GDP Contribution, 6-10 Million direct and indirect jobs.
Speaking on the Incentives and Policy, the Minister said, “Outlining the incentives needed to attract the determined level of investment and how the government ensures the inclusion of the private sector in developing the sports industry through market-based policies and incentives.
“Outlining the policies required to propel growth in participation in sports at the grassroots levels. How this growth in participation can be translated into greater demand for sports goods and services and how the government addresses the cross sectoral issues required for the growth in participation levels and investment required for the development of the sports industry.”
He then promised that the Ministry would continue to support the work of the committee in achieving its mandates with the necessary resources within availability.
The Steering Committee is a 14-member committee made up of equal number of representatives from the public and private/social enterprise sectors of the economy. Members of the committee were drawn from the Ministry of Youth & Sports Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ministry of Information & Culture, Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Ministry of Health and Members of the organized public sector.