The Federal Government discloses that events at the ongoing National Sports Festival (NSF) in Edo State will proceed as planned.
This is against the previous statement by the Local Organising Committee that the National Sport Festival will end suddenly 12 noon on Thursday due to shortage of fund.
The Federal Government made its point known through the Assistant Director Press Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ramon Balogun, on Thursday morning.
The statement read, “The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has clarified that the 20th National Sports Festival, Edo 2020, is going on as planned with competitions going on as scheduled.
“The Ministry and the Main Organizing Committee for the festival are unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo State Government to shut down the sports festival as there has been no official meeting or communication that relayed such information.
“The Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors are on ground in Benin City, where the Festival is holding, and it is expected that the Edo State Government would formally invite the Ministry for a meeting should any urgency exist around the National Sports Festival or communicate officially with the Main Organizing Committee for the festival. The Ministry has no such communication.
“For the records, the Edo State government due to the cost implications of postponements occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic requested financial assistance from the Federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
“The Ministry has since been at work to secure the financial assistance which it believes is being processed. The MYSD and EDSG are determined to deliver a successful National Sports Festival.”
Previously, the Coordinator of Media and Publicity, National Sports Festival, Ebomhiana Musa, in a statement on Wednesday night, stated a decision to terminate the competition was taken at an emergency meeting of the Local Organising Committee chaired by Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu.
He said, “The Local Organising Committee, Edo 2020 regrets to announce that it will end the games abruptly tomorrow, Thursday, April 8, 2021, for lack of funds.
“Rising from an emergency meeting this evening, the LOC says it has to take this hard decision due to lack of funds having expended its reserves to kick start the games.
“Regrettably, the FG is yet to redeem its pledge to support us as the host state financially for the cost of postponements. So, we are left with no option but to end the games at noon tomorrow.”
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