By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has announced that plans were ongoing to tap into the economic potential of sports in order to generate more revenue for the country rather than just viewing it as a recreational activity.
This was made known by the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, after he presented his ministry’s scorecard to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja on Wednesday.
He disclosed that the plans have been laid down already on how to explore all appropriate avenues to transform the classification of sports in the country from mere recreation to a profitable economic activity.
Mr Dare said the ministry has started work to turn sports into an economic industry, where the country can generate billion of revenues.
He also disclosed that the ministry had signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with relevant organisations and held various inter-ministerial meetings with the sole aim of moving sports as an industry from a mere concept to pure economic action.
“We realised when we came on board that the National Bureau of Statistics still classified sports as a recreation.
“And when you look around from South Africa to Brazil even to Jamaica, sports is classified as business. It is an economic activity.
“So, I think youth development in our country and under the ministry of youth and sports development is on a new trajectory, and the one that we are looking forward to is the 100 million African Development Bank (AfDB) Support for the DEEL programme,” Mr Dare said.
The Sports Minister had received a delegation from the regional bank in March seeking to partner with government on initiatives aimed at ensuring that the Nigerian youth are employable and are equipped with skills necessary for the 21st century.
The DEEL initiative of the Ministry is aimed at Youth Development which represents; D – Digital Skills Acquisition, E- Entrepreneurship, E- Employability, L- Leadership.
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