Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has urged stakeholders to use sports to stimulate sustainable economic development and not only for recreational purposes.
Dare made this known on Thursday in Lagos at a Sports Diplomacy Colloquium organised by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.
According to the minister, sports are too important in their roles and have to be considered as businesses.
This, he said, would require all the inputs and collaborations that developed and sustained businesses that not only created economic expansion but also continued to make impactful social interventions in our society.
Dare said the sports sector in Nigeria was at its current stage today because of partnerships and collaborations that had been put in place.
He said: “We have tried to move away from just sponsoring sporting events to doing what is truly sports development and each of us is a critical stakeholder in sports as diplomacy and business.
“We need to make the transition from sports as recreation to sports as a business that will deliver all-round value and ensure sustainable development and incremental growth.
“Sports as a business is the only framework that makes development sustainable and strong.”
He added that for sports to have the power to impact the sociocultural and political lives of citizens, it must be sustainably curated and able to decimate the barriers that existed between the brothers and sisters of countries around the world.
Also, the Director General, NIIA, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, said sports was not simply an instrument of diplomacy but also an instrument of peace and security.
In his remarks, he said sports ruled the world, adding that the essence of sports diplomacy was not a monopoly but sharing.