Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung on Wednesday said the sports industry has the potential to move the country out of recession.
Dalung said sports “remains the only industry that can move Nigeria out of recession. It is only in sports that you can enumerate about five to six benefits that are very key to National development.
“Sports provide valuable employment today… it is a foreign exchange earner and can also help build a tourism base,” he said, adding that if money was invested in sports, it would take many youths off the streets.
He said this while receiving the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, who paid him a courtesy visit accompanied by members of the Central Organising Committee of the 16th Nigerian Army Sports Festival coming up on October 10 to 16.
On Tuesday in Kwara, he also urged state governments to invest in sports.
“The panacea to all related development problems is to re-direct energy to investment in sports. States will forget about spending on security, because those who would naturally have created security problems for you will be dutifully engaged. There will also be much for the economy, because there will be so many commercial activities involving so many people and sports will drive tourism.
“If sports is the only unifying factor across this nation, why do waste so much money holding seminars and conferences, instead of investing in sports? We will need your support to re-draw the architecture of sports and reposition the image of Nigeria within the comity of nations. We are determined, committed and willing to serve our country selflessly,” Dalung urged.