The Edo State Government has signed the Host State Agreement for the 20th National Sports Festival with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The ceremony which took place at the Media Centre of the Abuja National Stadium yesterday, spelt out the responsibilities of the major stakeholders as written in the rules and regulations guiding the National Sports Festival.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, highlighted some of the responsibilities expected from the host state.
“As contained in my letter of invitation to bid for the hosting rights to successfully host the National Sports Festival, Edo State is required to among other things, put in place a Local Organizing Committee and sub committees as it deems fit.
“Provide befitting board and lodge for members of the MOC, Games Services Sub-Committee and the MOC Secretariat for the duration of the festival, ensure the security of lives and property of all dignitaries , athletes, officials, spectators, guests, etc throughout the period of the festival.
“They are to also ensure the physical availability of the approved facilities for all the sports on the official Programme and provide accommodation for accredited athletes and officials including facilities for central feeding.”
Dalung assured stakeholders that he was optimistic that Edo State will provide and even surpass the requirements and advised the state to embark on aggressive sensitization and publicity needed in this regard.
In his remarks, Governor Godwin Obaseki, expressed his profound gratitude to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports on behalf of the people of Edo State for the confidence reposed in the state to host the 20th National Sports Festival in 2020.
“We will not take this lightly. Being a state with history in sports, we clearly understand the implications and full ramifications of the hosting right.
“We, as Bendel State were an integral part of the idea of formulating the National Sports Festival after the civil war, so we are very cognizant of the goals and purpose of the sports festival which is to build unity and patriotism, particularly, amongst young people in Nigeria, to develop their sporting talents and also for this Festival to serve as a hunting ground or recruitment base for talents at the grassroots level”.
Governor Obaseki stated that Edo State has commenced work ahead of the task ahead with a total revamp and refurbishment of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
“The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium has been covered. We have replaced the tartan tracks and the football pitch is being renewed, so we are prepared as a state to host this festival.
“We realize that as the first state host after the re-establishment of the games, we need to set a new standard”.
Gov. Obaseki named the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Phillip Shaibu as the Chairman, Local Organising Committee and suggested a meeting of the National Council for Sports for February 21, 2019 for ratification and commencement of work in earnest.
The 20th National Sports Festival is being proposed to hold in March 2020.