Governor Obaseki: Federal government yet to redeem N500 million pledged for National Sports Festival

Ten months after the conclusion of the last edition of the National Sports Festival (NSF), tagged Edo 2020, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has appealed to the Federal Government to redeem the outstanding N500 million it pledged as contribution for the hosting of the event.

He made the appeal while receiving the report of the event from the Local Organising Committee, headed by his Deputy, Philip Shaibu, at the Government House in Benin City.

Obaseki, who noted that the national sports competition has ignited the spirit of sportsmanship amongst young people, said the State set a new record in the hosting of the games.

According to him, “I will talk on the issue of the outstanding N500 million that the Federal Government promised to contribute to the games. The Chief of Staff to the President made a commitment to the State Government that the Federal Government will fulfill its pledge.”

Obaseki said that failure to fulfill the promise made by the federal government would not be encouraging to other states that would want to make a commitment to host the games in the future.

The governor said the state opted to host the festival at a difficult time when COVID-19 was ravaging the world, noting that the state hosted a successful sports fiesta against all odds.

He added, “We have set a new standard in games administration in Nigeria. Apart from improving infrastructure, building Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium and 20 other mini stadia, the standard and conduct during the games have established clearly that the state has created a new era in terms of managing sporting festivals in the country.”

Commending the Local Organising Committee for the hosting of the sports tourney, Obaseki stated, “Most impressive for me is the prudent management of scarce resources. I want to thank the team for the discipline in procurement, management of finances and accountability.

“I thank the committee for a great performance in helping the state host a successful National Sports Festival.”

Responding, the Chairman of the LOC, Philip Shaibu thanked the Governor for the opportunity given to members of the committee to serve in such a capacity, noting that the national competition was a great success.

He said the report of the LOC will be submitted to the Minister of Youths and Sports, as well as the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.