The Federal Government has said that it will leverage on the forthcoming 21st National Sports Festival tagged “Delta 2022” to commence the implementation of the National Sports Industry Policy recently approved by the Federal Executive Council for the administration of sports in the country.
The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare disclosed this today at the Government House Asaba, Delta State during the Joint Technical Meeting shortly after the inspection of sporting facilities in preparation for the Games.
According to him “the Policy outlines an effective means of improving the funding of sports, delineating the obligations of the different tiers of government, the participation of the private sector and other stakeholders in sports.”
He explained that the thrust areas of the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) includes federations and athletes’ development, education, health, capacity development and training, inclusivity and social development in the community, provision of facilities and infrastructure, economic development, legislative environment and international relations.
Others, the Minister added are, funding, finance and investment for sports and the digital economy.
Dare stated further that the Federal Government has reclassified sports as business, and not mere recreation, to birth the vision of the Policy in ensuring that sports play a prominent role as an instrument of national unity, cohesion; promoting health and fitness through mass participation; and contributing to economic development and global recognition.
He stated that through the Policy, there will be full operationalisation and enforcement of the Sports Code of Governance as well as providing the opportunity for boosting businesses in the country through their involvement in the manufacturing of various sporting kits and other essential needs of the athletes, coaches and other participants.
Dare commended the Delta State Government for its unwavering commitment to the completion of sporting facilities, noting that, “with these facilities on ground, we are set to give the 2022 edition of the National Sports Festival, a continental flavour”.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee, (LOC) and Secretary to the Government of Delta State, Chief Patrick Uka stated that the new structures being put in place is aimed at providing facilities that conform with international best standards, taking into cognisance the rules governing the Games.
While assuring that all the on-going work will be completed before the commencement of the competition, Chief Uka thanked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration for granting the State the hosting rights for the Festival.
Also in his remarks, the Secretary, Main Organising Committee (MOC) and Director, National Sports Festival & Para Sports, Mr Peter Nelson informed the meeting that in preparation for the 2022 edition, President Muhammadu Buhari had flagged off the Torch of Unity signifying the commencement of the 21st National Sports Festival, amongst other activities performed by the MOC.
The President, Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), in his own remarks, applauded the Delta State Government for the State-of-the-art facilities being put in place for the 2022 edition of the Festival.
He called on other States of the Federation to take a cue from Delta State by showing more commitment to the development of sporting facilities in their States.
Director, Press and Public Relations