Nigeria, like many other nations around the world, is facing a multiplicity of challenges and a viable avenue to solve these issues is through sports. Sports has been proven to be a practical tool to counter social problems. Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal rounds up 5 things that sports can do for Nigeria.
Unemployment is at a crisis point in Africa and Nigeria is dealing with its fair share. However, with a pool of talented sports men and women, Nigeria is yet to tap into this resource. In other climes, sports talents are identified and groomed in the hope that they will represent their countries at various international tournaments. This engagement will rescue the athletes from the claws of unemployment, poverty and give youths hope for the future.
Politics, ethnicity and religion are the three key ideologies that divide people but sports has the power to unite them since it is blind to these biases. For example, when the Super Eagles are playing a game at the African Nations Cup, every other activity stops. At that point, Igbos, Yoruba, Hausa, Ibibio, Kanuri, Itsekiri and Fulani among other tribes come together to support the team. When Nigeria scores, you will observe the Hausa man hugging an Igbo man while the Ibibio man dances with the Yoruba man. Politics, ethnicity and religion have not been able to achieve this feat.
The impact of sports in the tourism sector cannot be downplayed or overemphasized. When a tourney is hosted in Nigeria, for example, the Commonwealth games or the All African games, the country welcomes tourists and competitors from different parts of the world. They will visit Nigeria’s amazing destinations, sleep in comfy hotels and have a taste of our cuisine. It will also create the much-needed jobs for Nigerians.
Perk up Nigeria’s Image
When a Nigerian like Blessing Okhagbare wins a gold medal in one of the races of the Diamond league meet defeating someone like Shely ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, you can only imagine how Nigeria will feature prominently in the international media. Nigeria will headline every international media. It is a moment every Nigerian will relish if we can take advantage of sports. For now, the country is still battling to perk up her international image.
Evolve a vibrant sports business environment
In Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria, viewing centres can be found almost everywhere. Not to mention the fact that the economy is in a comatose, many Nigerians still troop to these viewing centres week in, week out to watch the English premiership and other sports events. In the same fashion, this has led to the rise of sports betting. In the light of this, fans can now bet on different sports to win cool cash. More of this will happen if sports is taken as a money spinning venture rather than a mere event to administer, compete and win medals.