The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has said it is not aware of plans by the Edo State Government to cancel the 20th National Sports Festival.
The ministry further clarified that the ‘Nigeria Olympics’ will go as planned with competitions going on as scheduled.
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It will be recalled that the Edo State Government had threatened to end the event abruptly over the failure of the Federal Government to release funds.
They took the decision at the end of a meeting of the Local Organising Committee of the Sports Festival Wednesday night.
According to the Coordinator of Media and Publicity, National Sports Festival, Ebomhiana Musa, the Federal Government has failed to fulfil its promise to make funds available for the festival.
However, in a statement, the Ministry and the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival said they 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 Organising Committee (MOC) 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,”the statement said.