Sports Ministry Says Industry Is Critical for Economic development


Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Sports Development, says sports are not just games, but an industry with the capacity to generate employment, drive economic development, and improve public health.

Its Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Tinuke Watti made this known in Enugu at the first National Council on Sports meeting held at the old government lodge, Abakaliki road, Enugu on Monday, with the Theme “Sports for National Unity and Socio-Economic Growth”.

Mrs. Watti said that investment in sports infrastructure and programmes can help boost Nigeria’s economy. According to her, ” Sports when rightly positioned will help to take the youth off crime as successful athletes as they would serve as role models, inspiring younger generations to aspire to greatness and engage in productive activities.

To harness these benefits however, Mrs. Watti said it was imperative that Nigeria adopts a holistic and inclusive approach to sports development.

This includes fostering partnerships between government, private sector, and international bodies. It means ensuring that our policies are geared towards incivility, providing opportunities for all regardless of gender, age, or socio-economic background. It also involves leveraging technology and innovation to enhance training, performance, and fan engagement. Mrs. Watti said.

Sports have long been a cornerstone of Nigeria’s cultural and fabric. They transcend the barriers of language, ethnicity, and religion, uniting Nigerians under the common banner of competition,
achievement, and collective pride.

Also in an address, the Deputy Governor of Enugu state, Ifeanyi Ossai said that Enugu state was privileged to provide the backdrop for this important gathering of sports administrators, policymakers, technocrats and stakeholders, who share a common vision of advancing sports in Nigeria.

Represented by the state Commissioner for Sports, Lloyd Ekweremadu, the deputy governor noted that the technical session is a critical component of this council meeting, as it provides a platform for robust discussions, knowledge sharing, and the formulation of strategies that will shape the future of sports in Nigeria.

As we gather for the technical session of this esteemed council, we are not only participants in a meeting but also
pioneers charting a new course for the future of sports in Nigeria. Your
discussions, decisions, and collaborations in this forum will lay the groundwork for transformative policies and innovative programs that will impact our youth, our communities, and our nation’s standing in the global sports arena.

“Enugu State has a rich history of fostering talent and promoting sportsmanship. Our state has produced notable athletes who have brought pride to Nigeria on international stages. It is for this reason that we understand the transformative power of sports. It is not just a tool for physical fitness and entertainment. Sports have always played a pivotal role in the unity and development of our nation. It serves as a catalyst for social cohesion, economic development, and youth empowerment

“Hosting this National Council on Sports Meeting is a testament to our unwavering commitment to the development of sports at all levels. It is our belief that through strategic investment, community engagement, and robust policy frameworks, we can
nurture the next generation of Nigerian sports stars

“As you embark on these technical sessions, I urge us all to engage in
open, constructive, and forward-thinking discussions. Let us leverage our collective expertise to address the challenges facing our sports sector and explore innovative solutions that will propel us to greater heights“. Ossai stated.

The Deputy Governor expressed confidence that with the wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion present at the meeting, Nigerians can tackle the challenges ahead and forge a path that elevates Nigerian sports to new heights.

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