The Federal Executive Council, during its meeting on Wednesday, approved the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP), which was proposed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
This approval makes Nigeria the first nation in Africa, to approve a National Sports Industry Policy, a move that will help to solidify the sports sector, as a major contributor to the economic growth, of this nation.
The Policy provides an effective means of improving the funding of sports in the country; outlining the obligations of the different levels of government, and define the participation of the private sector and other stakeholders in sports.
The Federal Government before this approval, has recently reclassified sports as a business, rather than just a recreational activity. This strategy, appear for all intent and purpose, a way to ensure that sports play a key role as an instrument of national unity and development, which appears to be the vision behind the policy.
There are some incentives approved and outlined in the NSIP document, which could open up channels and opportunities, especially for the youth, to create gainful employment for themselves.
The Policy Incentives:
- i) Tax exemption and rebate for a period of 5 years, for investors in the value chain of sports.
- ii) Land provision and waiver for certain fees, on lands meant for sports.
iii) Single digit loan interest rates, for corporate organisations and private individuals, investing in the sports value chain.
- iv) Independent Government Grant, through the establishment of an Independent Athletes Welfare Fund (AWF), from which athletes representing the country, can draw support for education and training.
- v) Application of the Renovate Operate Transfer (ROT), Build Operate and Transfer (BOT), Integrated National Financial Framework (INFF), Nigeria Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) or any other innovative PPP financing model for the provision, rehabilitation of sports facilities in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
- vi) Full operationalization and enforcement of the sports Code of Governance.
It is reported that the Finance Ministry under the leadership of Sunday Dare and his team, which includes Olympian Mary Onyali, put in all efforts, to see this policy come to fruition.
The Ministry and other relevant financial agencies will meet in the coming weeks, to work out the exact details of the incentives.