NESG Roundtable Explores Development Of Sports Industry As An Integral Part Of The Economy


Wednesday, February 12, 2020 / 2.00PM / Bukola Akinyele  for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV


As Nigeria seeks to drive a globally competitive economy, opportunities in the sports sector came to the fore at a stakeholder's policy forum organized by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports.


It was an opportunity for stakeholders in the sports, entertainment, tourism and media industry to exchange ideas and offer solutions to how the sports industry could reposition to contribute more meaningfully to the economy.


In her opening remarks, the Acting Head, Think Tank operations of the NESG, Mrs. Titilope Oni described the event as the culmination of several months of policy advocacy and engagement in the area of sports development in the country.


According to her the four strategic roles of NESG Think-Tank Model include;

  • NESG serving as a watchdog on policies and economic issues
  • NESG acting as a dialogue partner and shaping policies through debate
  • NESG acting in its capacity as a connector, serving as a convergence point for businesses
  • NESG also playing a major intervention role in policy steps that impact the economy

She stressed that the forum was part of the process of exploring how to institutionalize sports as private sector-led industry in Nigeria.


Mrs. Oni said the NESG policy advocacy framework, which has come through public and private dialogue arrangements, currently has over 800 volunteers.

Oni informed stakeholders that the forum was a follow up to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Nigeria Economic Summit Group after several months of engagement with the ministry.


She assured the forum that the key resolutions from the event would form part of the policy draft up for debate at the National Sports Industry Policy dialogue.

Speaking further, she pointed out that the sports industry thematic group is one of the 44  groups under policy commissions of the NESG.


Ms. Nkechi Obi Head Sports Industry thematic group revealed that key sessions covering areas like Tourism, hospitality, entertainment and the creative industry as part of the business policy commissions, will occur over the next two weeks and will cut across different sports areas with ten different stakeholder groups participating in the breakout sessions.


She identified infrastructure as the main trigger for the development of the sports sector, noting that it will help to boost sporting activities and create value for the economy.


Several engagements by the NESG started from 2017 and 10 other ministries to look at what key issues that could affect different ministries such as Justice, Information and culture, communication and digital economy, health, and education on how on what they do impact sport development.   


Giving his presentation on the topic "Agenda Setting for National Sports Industry Policy for Media/ Entertainment/Tourism" at the stakeholder's forum Mr. Tonte Davies a volunteer and sports researcher and CEO of TWO report said Nigeria has a huge sports consumer population that can be used as the basis for economic growth, development and revenue.


He believed that the dynamic young population in Nigeria was a great opportunity for harnessing wealth. Mr. Davies said it is necessary to support the personal and social development of young people, create opportunities and provide a ground for them to discover their potentials and help them participate actively in every aspect of social life.


According to him, the sports bet industry in Nigeria has a value of US$2 billion, with 60 million regular punters between the age of 18 - 40 years and an average daily spend of N3,000.


Giving further insight into sports and economic growth, he said the current trend in developed societies is for the private sector to partner with the public sector to tap into the business opportunities and potentials of the sports sector and develop policies, strategies and interventions to ensure economic growth and prosperity of the nation.


On the National Sports policy he highlighted the following gaps;

  • Lack of harmonization with policies in other government departments
  • Absence of a partnership between the Public and Private sectors towards harnessing the full potential of sports as a contributor to the economy
  • Lack of a framework to tap into the business potentials of sports development and its commercialization
  • Low consultation and collaboration with relevant stakeholders to achieve defined objectives

The event featured breakout sessions that discussed investments, policy and infrastructure in the sports industry space.


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