To ensure that sports is taken seriously as a business in Nigeria, the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has called on individuals, corporate and private organisations to key into its sports development policies.
He made the call on Friday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja during the Handing over ceremony of a Training Pitch to Afrikings Homes Limited.
A statement by Director of Press and Public Relations Mohammed Manga quoted Dare to have stated that the programme is a fall out of the Adopt-a-Pitch initiative of the present administration, aimed at improving the welfare of athletes even as they prepare for the 2024 Olympics and Common Wealth Games.
Dare explained that the initiative has, amongst others, led to the renovation of the Abuja and Lagos National Stadia as well as other mini Stadia across the country.
“What we are doing is in line with the Adopt an Athlete Initiative, in which we are creating a funding pathway for the athletes. The initiative, which started as Adopt a Stadium, has seen the renovation of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja; National Stadium Surulere and other mini Stadia across the country which will be ready soon” he said
The Minister explained further that the Ministry has already kick started the implementation of the National Sports Industry Policy, which will leverage on the private sector, National Development Plan 2021-2025 whereby individuals and corporate Organisations will be partnered based on 70% private and 30% government sector funding.
For the successful realization of this policy, Dare added, “The Ministry will soon be hosting the first edition of the Sports Expo and Exhibition Programme so as to avail individuals, private and corporate organisations as well as other stakeholders with up-to-date information to enable them key-in appropriately into their areas of interest”.
Dare who commended Afrikings Homes Limited for coming out to adopt the Training Pitch, expressed optimism that the move will stir more corporate bodies to key into the Adopt Initiative.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, Afrikings Homes Limited, Mr. Kingsley James Awodi said that his Organisation saw the effort of the present administration in the development of sports and decided to partner with government with a view to providing wider opportunity for our teeming youth to explore their sporting talents. “We saw the effort government is making in the development of Sports through its adopt initiative policies in the country and decided to partner with the Ministry to further drive the opportunities provided by government for our teeming youth to excel in sports.”
He added that
his organisation is adopting one training pitch, which will be ready in 6 to 8 weeks and will be maintained for 2 years.