Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced that sports will, henceforth, be considered as business and not just mere recreation.
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who announced this to State House Correspondents 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, said plans were already on to explore all appropriate avenues to transform the classification of sports in the country from mere recreation to a profitable economic activity.
According NFF to him, it was only in Nigeria that sports were seen as ‘play-play’.
Dare said the ministry has worked 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 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 AfDB Support for the DEEL programme,” Dare said