Committed to creating adequate funding for the development of sports in the metropolis, the Lagos State Sports Trust Fund (LSSTF), has kicked off processes to raise about N10 billion for sports promotion.Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), LSSTF, Olufemi Pedro, who disclosed this in a media parley in Lagos, said the Fund hopes to achieve the amount over a five-year period starting from 2020, through a Public Private Partnership Model (PPPM).
He said the State Government appreciates the importance of sports in wealth creation, job creation, and general economic development, and deemed it necessary to establish the LSSTF.He maintained that LSSTF subscribes to the philosophy that if the state is to achieve the goal of being a sporting hub in Africa, the funding of sports development should not be left to the government alone.
He said the Sports Trust Funds (STF) has been tested successfully in many nations like Australia, United Kingdom, and Ireland, and a host of others, with well-developed sports facilities and infrastructure and successful athletes' development.
His words: "Our STF is the first of its kind in sub-Sahara Africa, and the only one in the entire continent of Africa apart from the one in South Africa. It is therefore imperative for us to build a solid foundation for its existence.
"Our goal also is to secure commercial revenue that will limit government funding to 10 per cent or less and we are committed to ensuring that no less than 10 million Lagosians participate actively in sports.
"In the last few months since we were inaugurated, we have painstakingly embarked on a strategic exercise to craft our vision, mission, and core values, and have developed our fund-raising and communication strategies, and established our corporate governance principles, organisation structure, and operating model.
"Our vision is to be a world class trust fund, propelling Lagos to become the leading sports hub in Africa and our mission is to raise and manage funds for sustainable development and promotion of sports in Lagos."We seek to position ourselves to ensure healthy and more productive Lagosians, the engagement and employment of youths across Lagos, access to sports for all Lagosians, reduction in social ill, talent development, and advancement of the sports industry amongst others."
Pedro further assured that LSSTF plans to deliver 10 infrastructural projects, develop 10 athletes and couches in 10 different sports from grassroots annually, and will ensure that all projects and programmes executed are inclusive, and focused on the needs and expectations of stakeholders and Lagosians in general.He said the target funders, apart from the government, are sports-focused organisations, corporate entities, development institutions, faith-based organisations, high net-worth individuals, and the general sports-loving members of the public.
In his remarks, Special Adviser on Overseas Investments to the Lagos State Governor, Ademola Abass, noted that the creation of LSSTF is to ensure that the funding of sports is taken completely out of the hands of government alone, and that the body has positioned itself as a non-governmental agency.
He maintained that the Fund is a bridge between the government and the private sector in the development of sports, and has engaged the services of KPMG, a foremost consultancy firm. Abass also assured of some tax incentives for foreign and local investors, who support sports development in the state, and urged the private sector to rally round the project.