The Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Akin Dare has stated conditions that must be met before the National Sports Commission can return.
The Minister made this observation during the public hearing for the Bill to return the National Sports Commission.
While declaring his support for the return of the sports commission, he asked for a new-look National Sports Commission in line with what obtains in other parts of the world.
Speaking during the Senate Sports Committee hearing in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister said, “Let me thank the chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports and all the Committee members on behalf of all sports loving Nigerians for undertaking this public hearing.
“It demonstrates your interest in the development of sports in our country. But beyond that interest is the commitment to see that necessary actions and legislations are in place to guide sports development in Nigeria. Amending the existing Decree 34 of 1971 which is still subsisting or promising a new bill are possible options”.
He further stated that, “The world over we have seen sports become big business. Sports as business is a prerequisite for any country that intends to develop its sports successfully. A sports as business policy and orientation opens the doors for investments from the organized private sector.
“Governments are no longer the sole investors in sports development. Private sector participation drives sports, rewards athletes, creates jobs, drive’s manufacturing, generates revenue and contributes to GDP.
“At the Ministry, we have in the past 18 months been busy working with
critical stakeholders to deliver a new sports industry policy (NSIP), that will
change the face and fundamentals of our sports development.
“It is an attempt to build a business model around sports in Nigeria so that like we have in North America, Europe, South Africa and other climes, Nigeria’s sports development can be driven by both government and private funds”, he said.
On the reclassification of sports, he affirmed that, “The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has successfully secured the reclassification of Sports from being a mere recreation to Business. President Muhammadu Buhari in Council approved this reclassification.
“Sports is now Business in Nigeria, i Principle. The policy that will drive this will soon be ready as it is in its final stages.”