Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, has urged the country to make a bid for permission to host the World Cup, which is widely recognized as the most important and prestigious football tournament that can be held anywhere in the world. Fashola, who was speaking at a program “The Conversation Series 3 by Segun Odegbami.” that was held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos, on the topic “An Integrated West African Transport and Infrastructure History, Potential and Feasibility,” explained that the country would benefit a lot from it.
The former governor of Lagos state claimed that during his tenure as governor, Lagos State greatly benefited from hosting both the National Sports Festival in 2012 and the FIFA under 17 World Cup in 2010. He asserted that London was improved with its hosting of the 2012 London Olympics and the similar way that China showed itself to the world after constructing infrastructure by putting in a bid for and hosting the 2008 Olympics. Fashola emphasized that South Africa’s telecoms, rail, and other facilities profited from hosting the World Cup in 2010, much as he had seen the same thing happen in Mumbai before the Commonwealth Games in 2010
Sports activities now have the power to transform countries’ economies.
As of the moment, the world of international sports and entertainment is more than just a lucrative industry that provides opportunities for young people to find work; it has become a major economic and political force. National flags and colors are proudly displayed as national anthems are performed for the delight of patriotic spectators and the contempt of rival teams. Nigeria must take the lead in any bid by West African countries to host the World Cup, whether they do so alone or together.
Fashola emphasized that while the difficulties of submitting a winning bid are significant, they are minor in comparison to those of actually hosting. Whatever the outcome of the bidding, it will test Nigeria’s organizational, planning, and execution skills. Regardless, he insisted that Nigeria would improve because the international community would not lower its expectations for the nation but would instead push and back its efforts to reach those expectations.
Qatar promotes itself internationally by hosting the world cup.
Fashola explained that different instances could be cited, as visitors to Qatar will see how this little country has not only welcomed international guests but is also actively promoting itself internationally. The 2022 World Cup benefits are hers to keep or discard. In addition, he reported that sports are no longer seen as just a pastime or diversion but rather as an economic driver in the present national development goals. He noted that economic advantages must now align with the policy.
Furthermore, he questioned why Nigeria had not started local production of its sports materials, given its global fashion status. Why are the Super Eagles still using foreign designs despite our fashion success? Why not hold a local Super Eagles jersey design contest? He recounted how Odegbami proposed hosting a World Cup several years ago, and people rejected him as fantasizing without considering his intellectual status. Dreams can become a reality. The nation should be grateful for this vast idea. He insisted the country should recognize its potential and look past the messenger.
Nigeria’s infrastructure project has created connections to many countries.
Regarding additional infrastructure, he contended that the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s efforts, especially in roads and bridges, go beyond just being national investments and have an impact on neighboring countries as well because they make it easier for people to travel within and outside of Nigeria. He named the Ekok-Mfum Bridge accompanying approach roads which connect Nigeria with the Republic of Cameroon as one example of the kinds of infrastructure that connects cities and countries. At the same time, the second Niger bridge is another example.