Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung yesterday praised facilities being put in place by the Edo State Government for the hosting of the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival scheduled for Benin City in 2020, saying they are comparable to facilities used in hosting international sporting competitions.
“I am elated that at the Closing Ceremony of the 19th NSF, we were able to secure a Host State for the 20th edition of the Games. This ceremony is therefore very significant as it not only confirms but also reassures Nigerians that the Host for the next National Sports Festival is ready and willing to undertake the responsibilities associated with hosting a festival of this magnitude.
“I am further encouraged with the venues and facilities I saw in Edo State during my recent visit to the State. Edo State has enough facilities to host the Festival with what is currently on ground. In less than two months they’ll complete the Ogbemudia Stadium, which in my opinion is comparable to facilities elsewhere used in the hosting of international sporting events.
Responding to the Sports Minister’s remarks, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who was accompanied to the MoU signing by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Honourable Phillip Shaibu and Barrister Godwin Dudu-Orumen, Chairman of the Edo State Sports Commission, thanked the Sports Ministry for deeming Edo State worthy of hosting the Sports Festival.
“I express the gratitude of Edo people for the confidence reposed in us by granting us hosting rights to the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival. We do not take it lightly. Being a state with a history of excellence in sports and having hosted the Games in the past, we know what is involved in the hosting of the Sports Festival.
“We are also quite aware of the goals and objectives of the Games, which is to foster peace and unity and also to aid the development of sports at the grassroots. It was as if we knew we were going to host the Festival as we had started renovating and refurbishing existing facilities like the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium as well as initiating the construction of new ones,” he stressed.