Lagos
Akinwunmi-Ambode lagos Governor

Lagos Sports Fund Targets N10bn, National Stadium

The Lagos State Sports Trust Fund on Thursday said it would raise N10 billion over the next five years to boost the development of the sector.

It also said it would overhaul Rowe Park and the derelict National Stadium, both in Lagos, when the necessary processes for handing them over are concluded by the Lagos and federal governments respectively.

LSSTF Chairman, Otunba Femi Pedro, who unveiled the plans at a media briefing in Lagos, said the fund was geared towards ensuring the proper maintenance of sporting facilities and making the sector more vibrant.

The former deputy governor of Lagos State, who was flanked by members of the fund, said: ”

The sports trust fund is the first if it’s kind in sub-Saharan Africa. It is therefore imperative that we build a solid foundation for its existence.

“In the last few months we have painstakingly embarked on a strategic exercise to craft our vision, mission and core values. Er have also developed our fundraising and communication strategies and established our corporate governance principles, organisational structure and operating model.

“We have also developed our blueprint for sports development in the state. We are now set to commence our core business of creating adequate funding for sports development and manage these funds efficiently.

“We are created primarily to play a critical role in financing the development and promotion of sports, sporting activities and facilities in the state,” he stated.

According to Pedro, “beginning from the beginning from year 2020 and for the next five years, using the ‘Power of 10’ Principle, we are committed to achieving a minimum of N10bn of raised funds in five years. Our goal also is to secure commercial revenues that will limit government spending to 10% or less.

“We are also committed to ensuring that not less than 10 million Lagosians participate actively in sports. In addition, we plan to deliver at least 10 infrastructural projects annually, develop 10 athletes each from 10 different sports, from grass roots to podium and to train 10 coaches each in different sports annually.”

He said the fund would adopt the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model for financing its projects so that it would not depend solely on the approved 20% from the state lottery commission and one per cent from the Internally Generated Revenue of local governments in the state.

Answering questions from journalists, Pedro said the fund was made if people with integrity and as such had the capacity to attract private sector support.

He said the fund would not usurp the functions of the state sports commission, whose chairman, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, is a member.

He said the fund would vet proposals from the sports commission for sponsorship, build facilities and organise competitions.

He urged corporate organisations to brand sporting facilities, obtain naming rights and maintain them.

He lamented the rundown nature of Rowe Park in Yab and said it “is tge first project that we are targeting. Once we get the approval of the state government we will go out there to look for the money and rehabilitate the place.”

For his part, Tandoh said the sports commission is busy with identifying athletes in the various sports, adding that there is an objective that youth athletes must be in school.

Also speaking, Special Adviser to the Governor on Overseas Investment, Prof. Ademola Abass, said that apart from the existing tax holiday for private sector promoters of sports, there is a general regime of incentives for local investors in any kind of sports.

He noted that the sports fund is an intervention mechanism to pool together resources for the sports commission.

He said LSSTF is not supplanting the state government but helping to ensure the adequate funding of sports.

Mr. Adekoyejo Adejumo, the member from Ikeja Division said the agency would ensure that sports persons are groomed from the school system.