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COVID-19: Shutdown of sports is crippling the world economy – Oma Akatugba

The halt on global sporting activities has impacted the world’s economy massively, as the sports sector and other sectors influenced by sports, account for a total of 2.98% (€300 billion) of the European Gross Value Added,

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Oma-Akatugba, COVID-19: Shutdown of sports is crippling the world economy – Oma Akatugba

As the spread of coronavirus accelerates around the world, the effects of measures taken to curb the pandemic have crippled activities of some businesses across the globe.

The need to lockdown and practise social distancing makes it difficult for certain businesses to thrive, especially those associated with sporting activities, where physical contact is difficult to avoid. Most sporting events have suffered major serbacks since the outbreak, as the organisers are counting their loses.

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases growing astronomically around the world and resumption of sporting activities, which is not near in sight, it is imperative to consider the effect of the pandemic on the industry, Nigerian sporting environment and ways to increase sports productivity locally.

In a tweet chat session organised by Nairametrics with Oma Akatugba, on Thursday, the renowned sports journalist shed light on the effect of the pandemic on the industry, both home and abroad, and possible areas Nigerians could venture into, in order to create wealth from sports.

READ MORE: Kobe Bryant: What Nigerian athletes, business owners must learn

According to Oma, the halt on global sporting activities has impacted the world’s economy massively. He explained that the sports sector and other sectors influenced by sports, account for a total of 2.98% (€300 billion) of the European Gross Value Added, also contributing 2.12% to the total employment numbers in Europe, representing about 4.5 million employees.

But with the rise in COVID-19 cases around the world, most leagues have been suspended indefinitely, consequently affecting revenues generated from TV rights, jersey sales, ticket sales, and endorsements. This, according to him, has forced some athletes around the world to take pay cuts.

He spoke further on the effect of the outbreak on sports content creators like him.

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“All my interview appointments have been called off, major sporting events where I already got accredited were all postponed indefinitely. The last time I received a message from the sporting director of one of the Bundesliga clubs, he said they do not have any need now because of the pandemic, and cannot talk about the budget for players,” He said.

READ MORE: Is Nigeria’s appropriation bill a scam?

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On the Nigeria Premier League, Oma believes that it has not been able to live up to expectations, despite having a handful of Nigerian born football stars making it in Europe and other parts of the world.

Oma said, “Honestly, Nigeria is not taking any strategic step to make sports an active economic driver, like other parts of the world.” He made comparisons with other parts of the world where sports business spins in large income. “In Germany, for example, 56,081 people were employed either directly or indirectly in the Bundesliga or Bundesliga 2 in the 2018/2019 season,” he added.

According to him, people who run sporting events in these places are not just passionate about the game, but businessmen and women that understand the dynamics of business and how to turn any activity into a big money-spinner.

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Business opportunities in sports for Nigeria
It is important that Nigeria bolsters its sporting activities to increase its contribution to the country’s economic growth, and Akatugba advises on major steps to take in order to grab the opportunities that sporting activities present.

READ MORE: 5 practical things small businesses can do during this pandemic lockdown

In his words, “the key steps to take is to read global trends in sports business as well as research on key events and happenings in the business globally while studying the Nigerian terrain, then find an area you can latch unto.”

He cited jersey making and kits-making as very good ventures in the sporting business. Till date, there is no company making the highly demanded fabrics for jerseys in Nigeria. Anyone can venture into this area of business.

Other areas filled with opportunities, as suggested by Oma, include merchandising, players management, sports marketing, or event creation and promotion.

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Business News

Senate calls for the liberalization of cement policy to crash the price of the commodity

The Senate also tasked the FG on providing more industrial incentives to bring new players into the cement industry.

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BUA Cement

The Nigerian Senate has called for the liberalization of Nigeria’s cement policy to boost production and subsequently crash the price of the commodity in the country.

This motion was raised by Senator Lola Ashiru at today’s senate plenary, the senator also tasked the Federal Government on providing more industrial incentives to bring new players into the cement industry, in addition to the liberalization of the cement policy in Nigeria.

Ashiru explained that to reduce the price of cement and in extension, other building materials in the country, the Federal Government needs to provide an enabling operating environment that will encourage new entrants in the country.

The Senate in conclusion called on the FG to provide more industrial incentives and protections such as concessionary loans and larger tax incentives to encourage new entrants and expand the national cement production infrastructure, as this boost in production will lead to a downward review of cement price in Nigeria.

What industry leaders are saying

Earlier this year the founder of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, called for the liberalization of Nigeria’s cement policy to boost production and reduce the price of the commodity.

The billionaire philanthropist faulted the belief that Nigeria is self-sufficient in terms of cement production, noting that recent statistics and figures on Nigeria’s population and cement production do not support this status of sufficiency in cement production as stated by some individuals.

He attributed the high price of cement products in the country to the supply gap which exists in the country, as the few producers who currently operate in the country are unable able to meet the country’s huge and growing demand.

The Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Devakumar Edwin, explained that the demand and consumption of cement in the nation currently outstrips supply, and this can be pegged on the growth in the country’s population, and the strong appetite for real estate investment and construction in the country.

He revealed that a supply gap of about 40% exists in the country’s cement market and that all players in the industry are working hard to level production with the rising demand in the country.

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Business News

Paypal’s Venmo now permits cryptocurrency trading

Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

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Venmo, a mobile payment service owned by PayPal has announced that it has started allowing users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on its app. Just like PayPal, Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, and users can carry out transactions with as little as $1 on the app

Founded in 2009, Venmo has over 70 million users and it is one of the most popular payment channels in the US. The payment platform processed around $159 billion in payments last year.

Since the app functions like a social network, adding cryptocurrency will offer a more user-friendly feel for people who love buying and selling crypto.

READ: 28 million merchants to be granted crypto usage on PayPal

As bigger companies show more interest in cryptocurrency, there will be wider adoption of virtual currencies in future. Venmo is the latest payment app that is offering support for cryptocurrency on its platform.

Paypal, the parent company of Venmo is one of the most active companies in the crypto space as it allows users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their digital wallets. Paypal users can also spend their coins at millions of merchants globally.

Crypto on Venmo is enabled through PayPal’s partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of cryptocurrency products and services.

What they are saying

Darrell Esch, Venmo’s Senior Vice President and general manager said “Our goal is to provide our customers with an easy-to-use platform that simplifies the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies and demystifies some of the common questions and misconceptions that consumers may have.”

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