Nigeria Sports Minister Mr Sunday Dare says sports in the country are no longer recreation but a business following the recent reclassification by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a thread of tweets on his twitter handle today, the Sports Minister says the government has taken necessary steps to reposition sports in the country, stressing that the football league will be run as a business.
“With the reclassification of Sports from Recreation to Business, President Buhari is committed to Sports as Business,” Dare tweeted. “A first logical step. Other steps include running our football league as business not as ‘play-play’-hence the full implementation of licensing/ financial controls.
“These are the things we have been about since inception in August 2019. We have a clear plan and vision. We are dogged in working to fulfill them leveraging on public and private financing. The MYSD is on top of its game.
“Next logical step is infrastructural renewal. From the Mishood Abiola Stadium in Abuja to Surulere Stadium in Lagos we are showing we mean business. A business model to attract investments to sports among other things will soon be delivered through National Sports Industry Policy,” he concluded.
Sports in Nigeria are largely sponsored and funded by the government, but the reclassification will give room for investors to put money in sports and football league.
In June, Sunday Dare said it will cost almost $1.5m private funds to fix the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
In March, the Federal Government imposed a ban on all sporting activities in the country due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, being suspended and was subsequently cancelled.
Last month, the Federal Government announced that it had lifted ban on non-contact outdoor sports, while also approving the use of recreational parks for physical exercise under strict supervision.
With the football league season rumoured to return in October, the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 on Thursday lifted ban on all sporting activities, giving the go ahead for the resumption of league football behind close doors with COVID-19 guidelines under the supervision of the Sports Ministry and the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.
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