Although Nigerians would have to wait till next year for the official kick-off of the National Sports Festival, the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led Edo State Government, the host of the 2019 edition of the festival, is leaving no stone unturned in preparing for the competition as the Secretariat for the event is nearing completion.
In a statement, Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said that the Secretariat would serve as the coordinating venue for the competition which would hold in different venues across the state.
With the Secretariat building almost ready, the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium is also getting a total make-over. The stadium’s main bowl has been renovated with a canopy cover, the lawn tennis court is being reconstructed while other facilities are being remodelled, as the state fast-tracks preparation to host Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to Osagie, “The Edo State government is hard at work on a number of projects to open up the state to the world. We would be hosting key sporting events in the coming months, including the National Sports Festival and some qualifying matches of the Super Eagles and the Super Falcons.
“The Secretariat for the National Sports Festival is almost ready. What is left is the internal finishing and other detailing. This goes to show the seriousness, we, as a government, attach to this competition. We are certain that other facilities marked down for the competition will be ready ahead of time.”
Recall that the state played host to top FIFA officials when the team visited the state to inspect facilities, including the stadium and other infrastructure, for Nigeria’s bid to host the 2020 Women U-20 World Cup, which has Edo as one of the venues.
The Secretariat will complement facilities to ensure effective hosting of sporting activities in the state.