In an unprecedented move, the Kaduna State Executive Council presided over by Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, has given the green light to the Kaduna State Sports Industry Development Policy. Announced during a press conference in Kaduna on Friday, this initiative sees Kaduna State as the pioneering sub-national entity in Nigeria to emphasise sports industrialisation, following suit with the Federal Government’s recently approved National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP).
Mr Idris Samaila Nyam, the Commissioner of Sports Development, highlighted the vast potential opportunities that this policy approval brings, from the attraction of hefty investments necessary for repositioning sports in the state to the establishment of crucial infrastructure that spurs mass participation in wellness and fitness activities, and the production and consumption of goods and services. The policy also seeks to boost talent development and capacity building in sports.
The freshly minted policy stimulates domestic and foreign investment into the state’s sports sector. Moreover, it acknowledges the Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency’s (KADIPA) crucial role in collaborating with primary stakeholders, primarily the private sector, to incentivise and streamline the ease of doing business.
The state’s corporate business plan, part of the approved policy, targets an estimated US$150 million over a five-year span to address social and commercial opportunities, particularly with the projected engagement of over 50,000 people across the sports value chain.
The policy addresses six strategic areas: Grassroot and Community Participation, Facilities and Infrastructure Development, Sports for Excellence and Professional Capacity Development, Association and Athletes Development, State’s Sports Industry Commercialisation and Economic Development, and Sports Administration and Governance.
Private sector involvement is essential in implementing these strategies, and partnerships will be sought with organisations such as Sports Nigeria LTD/GTE to boost investment across the sports industry value chain.
Additionally, the policy promises fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for investors in sports infrastructure and facilities, a Sports Infrastructure Development Plan, Sport Health Insurance Scheme for Athletes and Coaches, and a Sports Tourism Master Plan.
The programme aims to foster local manufacturing industries for sports gear, encourage the growth of media companies specialising in live broadcasts and streaming of sports events, and facilitate the acquisition of land for sports infrastructure development.
The Future of Kaduna’s Sports Industry
As we observe the evolving landscape of the Nigerian sports industry, it’s hard to ignore the groundbreaking initiative by Kaduna State – the approval of a Sports Industry Development Policy, a pioneering move in the country. The state government recognises the immense potential of sports as a driver of economic growth, an opportunity for talent development, and a pathway to a healthier populace.
While critics might argue that this move diverts attention from other critical sectors, it is essential to remember that a diversified economy is resilient.
Integrating sports industrialisation into the state’s economic development plan aligns with the Federal Government’s recently approved National Sports Industry Policy. This move marks a significant milestone, positioning Kaduna State as a leader in sports industrialisation.
There is no doubt that the sports industry can provide significant economic returns. According to a market research firm, the global sports market was valued at $489 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow to $614 billion by 2022.
By encouraging domestic and foreign investment in this sector, Kaduna State has the potential to capture a share of this lucrative market.
Moreover, implementing this policy will open up many employment opportunities, targeting the engagement of over 50,000 people across the sports value chain. This promises a boost to the state’s economy and a significant reduction in unemployment rates.
However, the path to successful sports industrialisation is not without challenges. The private sector, identified as a crucial stakeholder in this policy, must invest in the sports industry.
To ensure this, Kaduna State must provide a conducive business environment, easing bureaucratic hurdles and offering enticing incentives for investors.
Looking ahead, those in power must ensure that the policy is implemented effectively and all feel its benefits. This is not a sprint but a marathon. The development of sports infrastructure, cultivation of grassroots talent, and commercialisation of the sports industry must go hand in hand for sustainable growth.
The time for action is now.
Let’s come together to support this transformative policy and drive Kaduna State – and indeed, Nigeria – towards a prosperous future in sports.
Did You Know?
- The global sports market was valued at $489 billion in 2018.
- The sports industry is projected to grow to $614 billion by 2022.
- Sports industrialisation can create numerous employment opportunities.
- In 2018, the sports industry supported over 456,000 jobs in the UK alone.
- Investment in sports infrastructure can boost local economies by attracting tourism.
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