The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the National Sports Commission are setting up a joint inter-Agency body to explore all avenues of benefitting from $800 billion annual global sports revenue.
This was part of the decisions reached in an interagency meeting today when the Director-General, National Sports Commission (NSC), Alhassan Yakmut led a team from NSC on a business mission to the Industry Ministry.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa told the delegation that Nigeria has come to a point in her economic renaissance where it has to harness abundant raw materials especially from Nigeria Petrochemical industrial sector to promote revenue growth and create employment.
He said sports wears (canvas) are products of cotton and petroleum products which can be produced in Nigeria to meet the needs of the Nation’s paramilitary-customs, Immigration, Civil defence, NYSC and a host of others. He insisted that the process of manufacturing these items in Nigeria must receive expedited attention to save National revenue, create jobs as well as boast the health of citizens through exercise.
Amb. A. A. Musa lamented that with every available space in Nigeria being converted to football pitch; no single standard industry exists in the country to manufacture these sports wears noting that more than 80% of the raw materials required in manufacturing canvasses are in quantum in Nigeria.
He therefore requested the DG to constitute NSC team that would collaborate with those of his Ministry to explore ways of harnessing these opportunities.
The Permanent Secretary noted that the income generating capacity in sports and sports wears is unimaginable and challenged NSC to scout for any interested local investors while the Ministry avails itself of the impending US trip to scout and sensitize foreign investors on this great opportunity to create wealth.
Earlier, in his submission, the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Alhassan Yakmut said NSC is set to rebase and rebrand Nigeria by exploring huge business opportunities available in sports. He said as huge as Nigeria is and as versatile as her sports men and women are, Nigeria benefits nothing from $800 billion annual global sports revenue, pointing out that revenue from sporting businesses in Nigeria should exceed that of Nollywood.
Yakmut noted that transfer fees of just 5 players in the English Premier League can transform sports development in Nigeria.
He said NSC identified FMITI mandate as encapsulating all that Nigeria needs to make a breakthrough in this area adding that Nigeria needs investors/sponsors.
The DG agreed that an MOU is important to drive the proposal into fruition. Also in the DG NSC team was the Director Sports Planning, Mr. Caleb Gidado.