The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, on Thursday said that the sports sector of the economy had the potential to take Nigeria out of recession.
Dalung said this while on a working visit to Benue.
“Sports remains the only industry that can move Nigeria out of recession. It is only in sports that you can enumerate about five or six benefits that are very key to national development. Sports provide valuable employment and foreign exchange, and can help build a tourism base. If money is invested in sports, it will take many youths off the streets,” he said.
The minister said that sports development in Nigeria could be embarked upon by individuals who had ideas and youths with sporting skills that could transform the sector.
He inspected facilities in the course of the visit to Benue.
The facilities include the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp at Wannune, and the Marcathy and Aper Aku Stadiums.
The minister equally had a town hall meeting with some youths in Makurdi.
He said that the state and federal governments would create a synergy to ensure that sports facilities in Benue would meet world standards.
“To concession, to hire halls out for events and other sports businesses involving sports clubs,
are new money spinners. We will come out with more ideas and policies to enhance wealth creation for sports facilities to be maintained and the state’s economy improved,” he said.
In the town hall meeting, Dalung told youths that only persons from the ages of 18 to 35 were considered youths.
He promised that a youth centre would be built in Makurdi to enable youths to acquire skills that would keep them off the streets.