The sports festival continues, – FG Edo Govt answers.
According to the PUNCH report, the federal government says activities at the ongoing Edo National Sports Festival will continue as planned.
This contradicts a previous announcement by the local organizing committee that the festival will end abruptly at 12:00 on Thursday (today) due to lack of funds.
FG announced its position on Thursday morning in a speech by Ramon Balogun, Deputy Director of Press at the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
The statement said: “The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has made it clear that the 20th Edo 2020 National Sports Festival is progressing as scheduled and the competition is proceeding as scheduled.
“The Ministry and the Main Organizing Committee of the festival are not aware of any plans or threats from the Edo State government to close the sports festival, as there were no official meetings or messages conveying this information.
“The Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors are in Benin City, where the festival is taking place, and it is expected that the Edo State government will formally invite the ministry to an emergency meeting on the national festival. Sports or officially communicate with the Main Organizing Committee of the festival, the ministry does not have such a connection.
“For reference, the Edo State government, due to the financial implications of the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has requested financial assistance from the federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“Since then, the ministry has been working to secure financial assistance, which, in its opinion, is being processed. MYSD and EDSG are determined to host a successful national sports festival. “
Earlier Wednesday night, National Sports Festival Media and Advertising Coordinator Ebomhiana Musa said the decision to end the competition had been made at an emergency meeting of the local organizing committee led by
Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu.
He said: “The local organizing committee of Edo2020 regrets to announce that tomorrow, Thursday, April 8, 2021, the games will suddenly end due to lack of funds.
After an emergency meeting tonight, the Organizing Committee announced that it was forced to make this difficult decision due to lack of funds after spending its reserves to launch games.
“Unfortunately, FG has yet to deliver on its promise to financially support us as a host country through referrals. So we have no choice but to finish the matches tomorrow at noon. “
Development continues despite the fact that the festival was postponed several times.
The festival is attended by at least 8000 athletes from different states of the federation.
Edo State sounded the alarm over the federal government’s failure to provide funding within 24 hours at the start of the festival.