*Says private sector can play a leading role in sports development
In a move aimed at bolstering Nigeria’s sporting industry and ensuring the continued growth of various sports, the Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, paid a working visit to Nigerian Breweries Plc headquarters in Lagos on Friday, to discuss potential sports investment opportunities.
The visit marks a significant step towards fostering collaboration between the government and the private sector to advance the nation’s sports landscape.
The Minister was warmly received by top executives at Nigerian Breweries, including the Managing Director, Mrs. Hans Essaadi.
Senator Enoh stated that the potential of sports in the country is enormous and the country needs to tap into the potential to upscale achievements and find more consistency in these achievements.
“This visit is to restore confidence, and to state that more than before, the Nigerian sports industry needs the private sector to be more involved,” the Minister said.
“The new leadership at the Ministry is approaching its responsibilities with the determination to restore confidence and trust. This determination is fueled by passion to drive change in the Nigerian sports ecosystem.”
During the meeting, the Minister highlighted that the Ministry is open and excited to collaborate with the private sector to drive change. He said the Government plans to relate with the private sector a lot more closely and develop a framework that would help improve facilities, training, and grassroots development across various sports, including football, athletics, basketball, and others.
“There is a lot that Nigerian Breweries and other private investors can do to support and assist the impact that the sports can have on the fabric of our society,” he said. “Every involvement can be measurable. The Ministry is willing to collaborate and establish cordial working relationships with the private sector for the benefit of the nation.”
In his remarks, Mr. Essaadi emphasized the integral role that sports play in promoting a healthy and active nation, and the need for continued support and investment in various sporting disciplines. He stated that it is a powerful tool for national unity, as well as a social inclusion instrument.
Nigerian Breweries Plc has a rich history of supporting sports, most notably through its sponsorship of school sports and grassroots tourneys. The company’s contributions have not only bolstered the sporting sector but also created a platform for young talents to showcase their skills.
The Minister expressed optimism that its partnership with the organization would serve as a significant boost to the sports sector in Nigeria and provide the necessary support for emerging talent.
This visit by the Minister of Sports to Nigerian Breweries is indicative of the growing recognition of the importance of public-private partnerships in driving the growth and development of sports in Nigeria.
He stated that private investments such as Maltina School Sports, Milo Basketball tourney, Shell Cup, Pepsi U-13 championships, etc are known to have led to the discovery of lots of talents, who were placed on the national map.
The collaboration between the government and one of the country’s leading corporations bodes well for the future of sports, and it is expected to open up new opportunities for athletes, fans, and the sports industry as a whole.