Sports: The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare has said efforts are being made to explore all appropriate avenues to transform sports in the country from mere recreation to a profitable economic activity.

Dare, who said this while addressing State House reporters, said his ministry had committedly worked to turn sports into an economic industry, where the country can generate billion of revenues. Read also: Osimhen is Nigeria most expensive player

Moves to make sports money venture

He said the ministry had signed Memoranda of Understanding with relevant organisations and held various inter-ministerial meetings with the sole aim of moving sports as an industry from a mere concept to pure economic action.

He said it was only in Nigeria that board is seen as ‘play-play’.

“We realised when we came on bound that the National Bureau of Statistics still classified sports as recreation. And when you look around from South Africa to Brazil even to Jamaica, sports is classified as business. It is an economic activity.

“When you look at global statistics it’s a 1.33 trillion dollars industry. When you look at the United Kingdom, it is a 43 billion dollar industry annually. In America, it is 41 billion dollars annually, etc.

“It is only this country that classifies sports as ‘play – play’ or recreation,” the minister added.

Dare, while speaking on the effort to develop the youths sector, said some 7,000 youths had been trained in the IBM Digital Skill Training Programme.

“The one that we have started, which really gladdens our hearts at the ministry, which is part of our success story, is the IBM Digital Skill Training.

“As soon as COVID-19 happened, we decided to migrate from an offline platform to an online e-learning platform and within three months, with IBM partnership, we have been able to train 7,000 youths. Most of them have received IBM certifications which they can use to work anywhere in the world.

“Right now, over 9,000 youths have registered. Some are half way through their training and that is ongoing,” Dare said.

“So, I think youth development in our country and under the ministry of youth and sports development is on a new trajectory and the one that we are looking forward to is the 100 million AfDB Support for the DEEL Programme,” he said.