In the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration, the Federal Government has assured that it will implement the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration to provide opportunity for corporate and private sector participation in the development of sports in the country.
The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, stated this on Friday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja while answering questions from newsmen.
He stated that the present administration has endorsed the National Sports Industry Policy as both corporate and private sector play critical roles in sports sponsorships and infrastructure upgrade, adding that the policy has also provided an opportunity for moving sports away from mere recreation to business.
Besides, the Minister added that one of the key policy objectives of the present administration is that sports can be used as a source of unity, peace and stability of the country, job creation as well as providing an opportunity for inclusivity in participation in sports by both male and female.
He explained that government intends to set up machinery for interface with the newly discovered talents from the just concluded National Youth Games (NYG) with a view to securing scholarships for their nurture to elite stage, and also for sighting of facilities and infrastructure across the country at grassroots to provide early exposure and grooming for budding talents.
Senator Owan Enoh informed that the investment and funding in sports comes largely from both the corporate private sector the world over because it is a huge and vast area adding that there was a time in this country when the private sector was much more involved in funding sports and providing scholarships.
That, he said, may have reduced quite substantially but that one of the major focus of the Ministry now *is to see how we can get back and sell ourselves to the private sector, to see how much we can build trust and confidence so that competitions and initiatives of the Ministry can have the endorsement and huge support of the private sector*
The Minister who recognised the critical role welfare plays in the overall performance of athletes, assured that the Ministry under his watch will not only set up a well planned welfare scheme to cater for non active and active sportsmen and women, but also ensure that the country shows them recognition for their contributions through provision of various honours, among others for their sacrifices.
According to him, Anybody who has had cause to fly the National Flag high, represent the country, we should be able to show them gratitude and recognition because it is a no mean feat.
He assured further the Ministry will continue to work assidiously with various sports federations with a view to ensuring early preparations and participation of our athletes in both national and international competitions for podium finishes.
In addition, the Minister assured that the administration will give support and strength to the existing Anti- Doping Committee to ensure the clean participation of our athletes in these competitions.