BY ENDERLINE CHUKWU
Nigeria’s Minister Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has described the 20th National Sports Festival tagged “ EDO 2020” as Nigeria’s own model of Olympics.
He made this assertion during the meeting of members of the Main Organising Committee (MOC) for the festival at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
Dare stated that the National Sports Festival is the biggest sporting event in Nigeria for Nigerian sports men and women and that it avails opportunities to identify hidden talents from the nooks and crannies of the country.
He said that the event being a bi-annual one has afforded Edo State the privilege of hosting it.
He outlined the aims of the festival to include preparing our teeming athletes for national and international competitions and championships, bridging the gap between the various parts of the country and creating opportunities for integration, friendship and National unity.
The Minister said the sporting fiesta will attract participants from the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory and will feature various sporting events.
He hinted that the 1st Joint Technical Meeting, which discussed all technical issues relating to the festival as well as inspection of the venues and facilities earmarked for the Games had already taken place in Benin City.
Dare further said that for the expectations of Nigerians to be met during “EDO 2020”, the eight sub-committees of the MOC had been inaugurated with carefully chosen members based on relevant experience, exposure, competence and commitment to enhance a successful delivery of this assignment.
He reiterated that members can be exchanged into different committees. He also tasked the Permanent Secretary on the availability and timely release of funds for the event.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Gabriel Tanimu Aduda who doubles as the Chairman Main Organising Committee (MOC) promised that fund for the event will be released as soon as the Federal Ministry of Finance disburses to the Ministry for that purpose.
He said the last lap of the inspection of facilities for the event, which will comprise of some of the secretaries of the federations, is in the offing.
In the same vein, the Secretary of the MOC, Peter Nelson gave brief information on the preparations for the event and the number of sports facilities, and its venues that had been completed.
The 20th National Sports Festival is billed to commence on the 22nd of March to 1st of April 2020.