The Ministry of Youths and Sports Development has assured host of the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival (NSF), tagged “Edo 2020”, that it will get the Federal Government’s financial support to ensure the games go on as planned.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Nebeolisa Anako, gave the assurance at a press conference in Benin on Thursday.
The permanent secretary, who is also the Chairman of the Main Organising Committee (MOC), said that the minister, Sunday Dare, met with Gov. Godwin Obaseki on Thursday morning to acquaint him about the efforts being made to ensure the fund is released.
According to him, “I can assure that Edo State will get the financial assistance from the Federal Government.
“The minister met with the state Governor earlier today (Thursday), while the Presidency also contacted him to confirm that the process of getting the fund is at an advance stage.
“The ministry is yet to know how much the Federal Government will release to the host state. Also, if any money has been released as the accounting officer of the ministry, I will know. But it is certain that the government will support Edo State financially.”
Anako, who noted that it was the duty of the host to bankroll the NSF, said that the financial assistance is being given based on the several postponements the Games suffered due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The state government has done well to provide world class facilities, while the Games Village is alive with activities as the athletes and officials are ready to go all the way.
“With this, I will urge everyone to disregard the news of halting the games,” he said.
Anako said that the clarification was necessary to assure the 9,000 athletes that the NSF would go on uniterrupted.
He urged the athletes to continue to win medals as they have been doing since the game commenced six days ago.
It would be recalled that the Edo Government threatened to shutdown the Games by 12 noon on Thursday over the non-release of the fund meant to support them as host by the federal government.