The Ministry of Sports has assured the host of the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival, Edo State that it will get the Federal Government’s financial support to ensure the Games go on as planned.
The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Main Organising Committee, Nebeolisa Anako said that the Minister, Sunday Dare met with the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki to acquaint him about the efforts being made to ensure the fund is released.
He said: “I can assure that Edo State will get the financial assistance from the Federal Government. The minister met with the state Governor earlier today (Thursday), while the Presidency also contacted him to confirm that the process of getting the fund is at an advance stage.
“The ministry is yet to know how much the Federal Government will release to the host state. Also, if any money has been released as the accounting officer of the ministry, I will know. But it certain that the government will support Edo State financially.”
While noting that it is the duty of the host to bankroll the NSF, Anako said that the financial assistance is being given based on the several postponements the Games suffered due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The state government has done well to provide world class facilities, while the Games Village is bubbling with activities as the athletes and officials are ready to go all the way. With this, I will urge everyone to disregard the news of halting the games,” he added.
The MOC head said that the clarification was necessary to assure the 9000 athletes that the NSF would go on has planned, urging them to continue to win medals as they have been doing since the game commenced six day ago.
It is recalled the Edo State Government threatened to shutdown the Games by 12 noon on Thursday over the non release of the fund meant to support the host by the Federal Government.
A project manager in the Media and Communication Sub-committee of the NSF, Musa Ebomhiana on Wednesday said that the decision was taken after an emergency meeting of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) headed by the Deputy Governor of the state, Comrade Philip Shaibu.