FG proposes N20bn for capital projects in Sports Ministry in 2024

THE Federal Ministry of Sports Development will receive N20 billion for capital projects in the proposed 2024 budget presented by President Bola Tinubu to the joint session of the National Assembly on November 29, the ICIR reports.

Out of the N27.5 proposed budget, the President Bola Tinubu-led government earmarked N31.24 billion for the ministry, being its recurrent and capital budget.

The amount is less than one per cent (0.11 per cent) of the proposed budget.

The ministry’s budget will be spent on 87 ongoing projects and 36 new ones.

In August, Tinubu split the former Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in two, namely the Federal Ministry of Youths and the Federal Ministry of Sports Development.

He appointed a minister for each of the ministries. 

The Sports Ministry supervises sporting activities in Nigeria.

Breakdown of the ministry’s proposed budget

The Federal Government proposed N31.24 billion for the ministry’s headquarters and agencies – the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Nigeria Institute for Sports (NIS).

Of this sum, N3.24 billion was proposed for personnel costs, N7.910 billion for overheads, and N20.004 billion for capital expenditure. 

A breakdown of the budget shows that the ministry’s headquarters was allocated N28.53 billion, while the NFF got N1.55 billion in the 2024 proposed budget. The amount is higher than the N1.28 billion approved in the 2023 budget.

Also, the NIS got N1.15 billion in the 2024 proposed budget, which is higher than the N1.04 billion approved in the 2023 budget.

On capital expenditure, The ICIR observed that the ministry headquarters will implement 109 ongoing projects (77 ongoing and 32 new ones) with N19.57 billion. 

The NIS will complete seven ongoing capital projects with N303.84 million.

Similarly, the NFF is expected to spend N127.53 million to execute seven capital projects: four new and three ongoing projects. 

Reacting to the capital expenditure, a sports journalist,  Enitan Obadina, expressed concern over the budget, saying it was too small to fix the country’s sports infrastructure deficit. 

“When you look at the budget for sports, it shows a country with no specific strategy or target of what it wants to do with its sports. Twenty billion naira for capital expenditure is way too low for the kind of sporting infrastructure we need for a revolution that we should have in the country,” he said.

He said that despite former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration pronouncing sports as a business and not just for recreational purposes, the ministry had not shown sports as a business.

“That is the kind of figure you put forward as a country that does not take sport seriously, that despite the pronouncement of the previous government saying sports is no longer recreational, we are still not handling it as a business with this figure.




     

     

    “My overall submission is that sport is not yet a serious business in Nigeria, and it is still recreational going by this budget,” he said.

    Another journalist, Samuel Ahmed, expressed worry that sports in Nigeria had suffered underfunding over the years despite the rise of Nigeria’s sports stars on the global stage. 

    “While we have incredible numbers of sports stars home and abroad, including winning both men and women CAF African Player of the Year, athletes’ welfare, acquisition of sporting facilities (stadia), equipment and sponsorship support to federations are getting no consideration. 

    “Sports are a major national tool to reduce social vices, engage and empower the youths. So, I think there’s a need to invest more in sports just as you do for the economy, as it has the potential to boost the country’s GDP,” he said.

     

    Kehinde Ogunyale tells stories by using data to hold power into account. You can send him a mail at [email protected] or Twitter: Prof_KennyJames

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