By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The Nigerian Government has expressed its readiness to partner with the Enugu State Government on grassroots sports development while seeking collaborations to boost the contribution of the sector to the economy, says the minister of sports development, John Owan Enoh.
Enoh, a former federal lawmaker made this known in two different fora; a visit to the Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, and when he hosted members of Dream Sports Africa led by the Country Director, Mr. Michael Anejo at his office in Abuja last week, his office says.
Senator Enoh who disclosed that sports is a five trillion Dollar industry that can give hope to those in despair, posited that sports has more power than government to break barriers and boundaries of racial discrimination and injustices.
He said his visit to Governor Mbah was in line with the vision of the Nigerian Government to make sports a profitable venture by making Nigerians see the sector as a business venture and not just for recreation – a situation that informed the decision of President Bola Tinubu to create a separate Ministry of Sports Development and endorse the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) in the Renewed Hope Agenda.
Expressing the willingness of the State to partner with the Federal Government, Governor Mbah said Enugu will play a significant role in catalyzing the change the nation seeks in sports as a unifier and as a business venture, especially as the State’s growth trajectory for the next decade is between $4.4 billion to $30 billion of which sports has a role to play.
He sought more collaboration between the Government and the private sector and disclosed that the Rangers Football Club jersey is branded by Afrinvest with others seeking to invest in the club.
In a related development, the minister had a few days earlier posited that; “the progress of the sports sector cannot be limited to the role of government alone,” while explaining the critical role of private sector players to Mr. Anejo and his team.
Senator Owan Enoh stated that the new vision and thinking of government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu now is that sports is seen as both recreation and business. This, he said, was the right approach to jumpstart the desired transformation of sports in our country.
The Minister averred that sports have a great potential for wealth creation, employment generation, poverty alleviation, social inclusivity, and the ability to make substantial contributions to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Sports plays a role in at least four of the government’s eight-point agenda. Areas of security and insecurity, generation of employment, poverty alleviation and social inclusion,” he said, and called on the private sector investors and major players in the industry to take advantage of the incentives put in place by the current administration to invest massively in the development of sports in Nigeria.
Earlier, Mr. Anejo commended the minister for agreeing to meet with their organization to discuss likely areas of collaboration that will drive Sports Development across the country in spite of his busy schedule.
He assured that his organization will go back to the drawing board and identify critical areas it needs to partner with the Ministry and the Federal Government in its effort to ensure the realization of the policy objectives of the present administration as it relates to sports development in line with global realities.