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Stakeholders Call For More Goverment Participation In Sports

Stakeholders Call For More Goverment Participation In Sports

A sports enthusiast, Micheal Sodeke has called for more government participation in the sports sector.

In a letter addressed to the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha , Sodeke believes that the sports sector, if well funded will will compete with major revenue generation sectors in Nigeria.

“For several decades now, stakeholders in the sports sector have been neglected in Nigeria’s economic plans
In 2010, a 251 pages document was released by the Federal Government tagged: Nigeria 20: 2020, the document comprises of Nigeria plans/ Vision and development priorities but as it has happened over the years, Sports, a unifying factor and a veritable nation building tool was not even mentioned or captured,”Sodeke stated.

“History repeated itself in 2017, when another document of 140 pages was drafted by FGN tittled: Economic Recovery & Growth Plan 2017-2020, one would have expected the FGN to be aware of what Sports brings to the table and follow the trend, but surprisingly, the development of the sector was not even mentioned despite budgeting billions of Naira for the Ministry of youth and sports annually.

“Reading through both documents I can categorically say that our government are either not properly informed or they are misinformed about the importance of sports in economic recovery and diversification, because the way those in government handle sports with levity is ridiculous and alarming.

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“Let me also cast your mind back to 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan invested 3 billion naira in the Nollywood/Entertainment industry, the investment added value and brought about drastic turnaround. You would agree with me that that sector is competing very well in the African market and few exceptional acts have taken their game to a global level.

“We have consistently talked about diversifying from Oil which is our major stronghold, without mincing words, Sports is a veritable too because it would ensure the
In resuscitation of various sectors including the health sector, the Power sector and also bring about the development of roads as well as empower a whole lot of Nigerians from different sectors.

“To wrap things up, natural disasters are inevitable and the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled almost everything across the world, countries have rolled out different economic recovery stimulus packages including Nigeria, but again the Sport sector was overlooked in the $2.7 Billion stimulus package as announced by the Central Bank Of Nigeria, whereas Agriculture, Banking, Oil & I.T sectors were captured.

“All sectors would need to be touched and revived as a matter of urgency by the Federal government to ensure they don’t go down further even after Covid-19.

“If well financed, sport will compete with major revenue generation sectors in Nigeria, on and off the field of play, millions of Nigerians are always active in the sporting world, to this end, I will appeal to the Federal Government to ensure something is done about the sports sector going forward.

“It’s a sober moment for the world, but we believe that normalcy will soon return and the world will be a very conducive place for us to live.”

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