The Statistician-general of the federation, Dr. Yemi Kale has revealed that sports is big business and it is estimated at US$500 billion globally.
He also noted that in Nigeria sporting activity accounts for 0.005 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) directly, however, the indirect effect is much higher.
Kale, who disclosed this recently at NES26 pre-summit event with the theme “Categorization of Sports as a Business Sector of the Economy: Partnership Imperatives” explained that sports is still a small business in Nigeria, but has the potential to be much bigger.
“We have to agree as what sporting activities should constitute and focus on data integrity, collaboration with relevant agencies and most importantly ensuring the steady funding for data computing as related to the sports industry,” Kale stated.
In his remarks, the Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, stated that Nigeria needs $500 million annual investment in sports infrastructure to deliver N2 trillion revenue in the next 5 to 10 years, “and the requisite investment can help to drive the largest real estate and infrastructure development in the country.”
Dare said that sports was categorized as recreation and has just been recategorized as a business.
Continuing, he added: “Sports has the economic capacity through production and services to grow faster in lower income countries than higher income countries and is a labour intensive growth industry. The new outlook of sports industry unlocks conferment of priority status and enables the industry’s eligibility for incentives, development of metrics for impact measurement, consideration for special funding by the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) creation of jobs and tax rebate.”
In his remarks, the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olumide Akpata disclosed that the recategorization of sports as a business would help to reposition Nigeria and providing the necessary legal framework which will effectively result in a booming and productive sector.
According to him, “Dealing with the issues of the sports sector requires paying attention to the laws that underpin that sector and indeed other sectors. We must be sure that the Nigerian legal profession receives training in that regard considering the fact that it is a specialized area. We must ensure that there are lawyers interested in building capacity in the sports sector and the NUC, Nigerian law school and other areas are carried along. The NBA section on business law has a sports entertainment committee and that his administration will ensure capacity building and re-engineering to ensure that sports law become a key part of the profession.”
The President, Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC), Engr. Hubu Gumel represented by Mr. Francis Orbih said that sports is a viable business and national federations need to work with others to take the game to the grassroots to drive mass participation.
He appealed for the need for a proper governance structure that would attract the private sector and stated that Federations must be fit for purpose since Sports has a huge potential for youth employment when properly administered.