For the first time ever, the National Sports Festival in Nigeria will hold during the New Year festivities as the Ministry of Sports has announced that the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 has approved the sports fiesta to hold from 3 to 17 January in 2021.
It was originally slated to hold in March 2020 but force majeure occasioned by the global outbreak of the coronavirus made it to be postponed indefinitely. Then a December 2020 date was settled for. That was again cancelled for the new date now announced.
The new date is almost coinciding with the anniversary of the 2nd All Africa Games which Nigeria hosted from 3-18 January in 1973.
According to a press release signed by Gabriel T. Aduda, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry of sports, the new date was arrived at during a virtual a meeting on Thursday, convened by the sports minister, Sunday Dare.
At the meeting, the circumstances around the recent rescheduling of the sports fiesta, was reviewed.
The new date is to allow the Presidential Task Force, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Edo State Government and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to complete the necessary steps and processes, as assigned, to ensure a hitch free festival and deployment of rapid diagnostic test kits for over 11,000 athletes.
The virtual meeting had in attendance the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, PTF National Coordinator – Dr. Sani Aliyu, PTF’s Deputy National Incident Manager/ Head of Operations – Dr Assad Hassan, Representatives of NCDC, amongst others.