Sports will grow Nigeria’s GDP more than crude oil, if well developed – Bankole

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A sport analyst, Mr. Paul Bankole, has described sports as most lucrative vocation with huge potentials to grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and increase per capital income more than crude oil export, if properly harnessed.

Bankole who is a member of the Association of Sports Performing Centers (ASPC), stated this during an
interactive session with members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Ogun State chapter, held at its MKO Abiola International Stadium Secretariat in Kuto, Abeokuta, last Tuesday.

He noted that there are many opportunities therein in sports in terms of job creation to the teeming unemployed ones, advocating private participation to make the business a worthwhile one, as been practiced
in Europe, America and South Africa.

The former Technical Consultant to former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola on Grassroots Sports Development, noted the need for government to set up High Performance Centres, to discover and nurture athletes to stardom.

He admonished media organisations, especially the state owned radio and Television stations to be at the vanguard of the crusade by engaging the State House of Assembly, Commissioner for Youth and Sports to come up with the needed legislation, to encourage Corporate organizations participation in sports development, so as to compliment the state government effort in its determination to develop sports.

“Management of Ogun State Television (OGTV), state owned radio station , House Committee on Youth and Sports Development should make business sports policies, attractive and of immense benefits to corporate organizations in the state,” he added.

Bankole stressed that Ogun State would be better for it, if only five big industries among several others joined the state government through provision of fund for the development and promotion of sports.

The President of Nigeria branch of the International Senior Games Association stressed the need for stakeholders, particularly, technocrats and sportswriters to understand politics of drawing the attention of policy makers on the need to establish sports academies ,provide first class facilities and organize school-based sports to catch them young and nurture them for major competitions such as the Olympics

He urged Corporate organizations, religious organizations and individuals to embrace Adopt A Talent Project initiative identified as an effective funding mechanism, to provide Scholarship for youngsters at the grassroots level.