Stephen Dunmoye

The Minister for Youth and Sports development, Sunday Dare has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for embracing the National Sports Industry Policy to boost sports in Nigeria.

Dare noted that the decision would be a great turnaround for sports because the corporate world would embrace sports more than ever now that there are benefits approved for them by the Federal Government.

The Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday, 2nd November approved the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) proposed to it by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

Some of the approved incentives as outlined in the National Sports Industry Policy document include; A) Tax exemption and rebate for a period of five years for investors in the value chain of sports. B) Land provision and waiver for certain fees on lands meant for sports among others.

Speaking at the weekend, the minister said: “Sports has assumed a global political, economic and social status placing high on the agenda of governments.

“Leaders and countries have leveraged excellence in sports to advance their power and navigate their diplomatic relations, but above all to generate employment, create jobs and increase government revenue.

“Nigeria, a country where sporting talents abound especially amongst its youth and where participation in sports has experienced remarkable growth in the past decades cannot, therefore, be left out of this positive scenario.

“The time for Nigeria to plug into the global business sports world is long overdue. But first, government must lead the way by providing a policy that will drive the process, hence, this document.

“This NSIP [National Sports Industry Policy] is a product of stakeholder engagement sessions, review of national sports policies of Nigeria and a few other countries as well as other resource documents, with the intention of harnessing the commercial potential of sports in addition to it social and recreational value.

“This document is ultimately aimed at reclassifying sports as a business, not as ‘recreation’, with various potential implications for the sector, including how sports will contribute to job creation for our youth, add value to the talents of our sportsmen and women, revenue generation and add to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“The main thrust is to ensure that a sport is developed as a viable business sector capable of attracting investments and delivering returns to investors.”