NSIP approval will enable private participation in sports devt – Sports Minister

Sunday Dare

By Esther Akaa

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development says the approval of the Nigerian Sports Industry policy (NSIP) by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will enable private participation in sports development in the country.

The Voice reports that FEC recently approved the NSIP proposed to it by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

Dare, who stated this on Thursday in an interview with journalists at the ongoing 2022 National Sports Festival, holding in Asaba, Delta State, said the Federal Government has also approved the privatisation of some vital sporting infrastructures to enable private take-over for effective management.

According to him, some of the approved incentives as outlined in the policy document include; tax exemption and rebate for a period of five years for investors in the value chain of sports and land provision and waiver for certain fees on lands meant for sports and single digit loan interest rates for corporate organisations and private individuals investing in the sports value chain.

Others include; 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.

The 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 Public Private Partnership (PPP) financing model for the provision, rehabilitation of sports facilities in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the full operationalisation and enforcement of the sports Code of Governance.

“We are working on these details and once we have them, it’s going to be easy for the private sector to come in and invest.

“We are going to privatise some of our sporting infrastructures. We are not just going to do privatisation of these infrastructures but what we have is Renovate, Operate and Transfer (ROT) and then we have the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) and then we have the national integrated financial network.

“We have 126 sporting infrastructures across the country and less than 20 of them are viable structures. Some of them are dead assets so we want to do away with some because what we just need is good sports infrastructures,” he said.

He further disclosed that the FG has designed special sporting gears for female to encourage women participation in sporting activities, especially in the northern part of the country.

According to him, the action became necessary following low participation of female in sporting activities, especially in the Northern part due to religion, cultural practices, among others.

He, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment towards sports Development in the country, calling on participants at this year’s National Sports Festival to put in their best to enable them win medals for their states.

On his part, the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, appreciated the  athletes who are participating in competition.

The commissioner said essence of the festival was to foster unity among the diverse ethnic groups in the country for growth and development.

He, called participants to compete vigorously, in order to enable them succeed.

Meanwhile, Team Nasarawa qualified in the 200/500 Metres Sprints Male Cycling.

The team hopes to advance to both the semi-finals and finals as they will feature in the Male Quarter-Finals 500m Sprints on Friday.

The team also participated in other indoor games such as Darts and Table Tennis, both male and female categories and will continue the contest on Friday at designated venues.

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