Says football, basketball, table tennis, hockey, and all other games will no longer be for recreation alone, but for business as well as recreation

• Declares that a disclaimer will immediately be issued on any athlete found wanting

The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has met with Sports Federation Secretaries with a view to ensuring the immediate commencement of the full implementation of the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP).

At the meeting which was held at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, on Thursday, the Minister informed the Secretaries that with the recent approval of the policy by the Federal Executive Council, the funding and control of sports development will be handled by both the private and public sectors.

“Henceforth, the funding and control of sports development going forward will be 50-50 between the private sector and government”, he said.

Dare explained that the new policy will thrive on 3 ‘i’s, infrastructure, incentives, and investment. To this end, he added, “football, basketball, table tennis, hockey, and all other games will no longer be for recreation alone, but for business as well as recreation”.

The Minister who noted that no Industry can thrive without investment stated that through this policy, a lot of investments can be attracted into the sports sector which will not only contribute to the socio-economic development of the country but also create an opportunity for our teeming youth to showcase their sporting talents as well as compete favorably with their counterparts globally.

Dare expressed optimism that the policy will open up access to grants for athletes, stressing that already, an independent athletes’ welfare fund has been set up which will be ceded by the government to cater to athletes’ well-being.

While emphasizing that government will have zero tolerance for anything untoward among athletes, he assured that a disclaimer will immediately be issued on any athlete found wanting. The Minister, therefore, called on them to refrain from any practice capable of denting the image of the nation.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar thanked the Federal Executive Council and President Muhammadu Buhari in particular, for approving the National Sports Industry policy, explaining that with its implementation, Nigerian sports industry will witness a boom in the shortest possible time.

He assured that the Ministry will create an enabling environment for the full implementation of the Policy and therefore called on the Secretaries to support the efforts of the Federal Government to give the Sports Industry a face-lift by taking the right steps to achieve full implementation of the Policy

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