Posted on Mon, Jul 25, 2022 3:29 PM
L-R: Mr Ade Adefeko (Board Member); Arc Moyo Ogunseinde (Board Member); Kaduna State Commissioner of Youth and Sports, Mr Idris Samaila Nyam, Sport Nigeria Vice Chairman Mr Yahaya Maikori, Mr Obi Asika (Board Member), Representative of Minister of Youths and Sports Dev, Dr Henry Nzekwu, CEO Sport Nigeria Ms. Nkechi Obi, Sport Nigeria Chairman Mr Babatunde Folawiyo, NESG Vice Chaiman, Mr Niyi Yusuf, Mrs Rakiya Dhikru- Yagboyaju (Board Member), Chief Owen Obaseki (Board Member) and Mr Tosin Osunkoya (Board Member)
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step in the right direction" - Chinese Proverb
Thursday 21st July 2022 was a momentous day for sports in Nigeria. It was a first step in demonstrating the intent, interest, and vision of the private sector to participate actively and complement the government's effort in the development of the sports industry.
In the Special Remarks from the Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. Niyi Yusuf (Vice Chairman) representing the Chairman, noted the role the NESG played in the establishment of Sport Nigeria, and the expectations from the business community and stakeholders that the Board will deliver on the goals for which she was established.
Cross section of Board members and Guests
The engagement with stakeholders from all sectoral groups and the cross-cutting relationships with sports has thus begun and the journey to a viable sports industry as a contributor to Nigeria’s economy is on the way.
CEO presenting how Sport Nigeria got here
Another Presentation session by the CEO, Sport Nigeria
L-R: Mr. Enefiok Udo-Obong (Olympic Gold Medalist), Mr. Tosin Osunkoya (Board Member), Mrs. Comfort Nwankwo, Chairperson NIPR Lagos Chapter, Ms. Nkechi Obi, Mrs. Uche Udo-Obong (Fitness Consultant)
Dr. Henry Nzekwu representing the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, while reading the Minister’s message, described Sport Nigeria as “a bold step by the private sector to build a business model into Nigeria’s sports development… in tandem with the position of government that sports must operate as an industry, an area of economic activity with a fully developed value chain”.
The Minister further stated, “This event signposts the future of sports development, but more importantly takes the audacious step needed to galvanise everyone to action. The government, private sector, sports stakeholders, sponsors, and the international community must respond to the emerging opportunities in the sector. The government has since revved up with the reclassification of sports as industry over a year ago. The NESG was central to the success and progress we have made thus far.”
On his part, the Honourable Commissioner for Sports Development in Kaduna State, Mr. Idris Samaila Nyam, in his goodwill message remarked that, “It is refreshing to note that a key objective of Sport Nigeria is to catalyse private sector investments in the sports industry value chain in Nigeria. I say refreshing because this idea forms a major mandate of the Ministry of Sports Development, which has equally been emphasised by His Excellency, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El ’Rufai.
In fact, this is a major policy thrust of our Sports Development Policy, which Sport Nigeria is now collaborating with us on. The challenge has been that there appears to be a gap in both private and public sector capacity to understand and fully appreciate the opportunities that are available through sports. With Sport Nigeria Ltd/Gte, I can confidently say that we find a strong partner and indeed support system towards laying a solid foundation for and leveraging the potentials for a private sector driven sports economy.”
The Commissioner further indicated that an outcome of the engagement with Sport Nigeria, is a confirmation of Kaduna State’s participation at the Sports Business and Investment Summit (SBIS) 3rd August 2022 – the very first investment roadshow organised by Sport Nigeria for stakeholders to engage with investors outside the country.
The Chairman of Sport Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Folawiyo in his welcome remarks, posited that Sport Nigeria’s engagement with stakeholders would deliver a “virtuous cycle because as more impact is made on the social side of sports, it feeds the business side and more impact on the business side would help achieve greater impact on the social side.”
Several presentations were made by the CEO Sport Nigeria, Ms. Nkechi Obi, on the journey to birthing the organisation and Arc. (Mrs.) Moyo Ogunseinde on Spaces for Sports (S4S) Sport Nigeria’s flagship project for providing community-based cluster sports facilities across the country.
Dr. Henry Nzekwu on behalf of the Minister, formally introduced the Chairman, Advisory Council and Board of Sport Nigeria to the guests present physically and virtually after which the Sports Business and Investment Summit in Birmingham (SBIS), UK, was presented to guests.
Please visit www.sportnigeria.ng for details of SBIS and how to participate.