For the first time in the history of Nigeria’s National Development Plan, Sports is now included as a business with the plan to inject N80 billion into the nation’s sports development and N60 billion earmarked for youth development focusing on building entrepreneurship and overall Human capital development now classified as under social development over a period of 4 years, from 2021-2025.
Under the National Development Plan, Youth and Sports together have secured 140 billion- a record no doubt.
Recall that in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, Sports was totally excluded and ended up with zero budget.
The Approval reclassifying Sports as a business by President Muhammadu Buhari last year after the presentation of the Minister of Youths and Sports Development to the Federal Executive Council was instrumental to bringing sports into the business category in the budgeting process.
Thus, it can be said that the reclassification of Sports as business and no more mere recreation paved the way for sports in the National Development Plan, hence the 80 billion earmarked for sports.
The second boost for this new budget is the efforts by the Ministry to deliver a National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP).
The Minister had championed the need to build a business model around Nigeria’s Sports Development with the mantra of Sports as a business.
Working with critical stakeholders, a final draft of the policy is under review by the Ministry of Justice.
Very interestingly, the NDP 2021-2025 harped on the legal and regulatory framework needed to drive Sports as a business, hence, the Sports industry and the budget were approved.
The N60 billion earmarked for youth development would build a robust Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) growth.
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is now on the National Steering Committee of the NDP 2021-2025.