The Federal Government on Thursday morning overruled the Edo State Government on the closure of the ongoing National Sports Festival holding in Benin, saying the sports fiesta will continue as planned.
NaijaNewsNow reports that the Local Organising Committee (LOC) in a statement on Wednesday night said that the festival will end abruptly 12noon on Thursday (today) over lack of fund.
The federal government made its position known in a statement by Ramon Balogun, an Assistant Director, Press at the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, on Thursday morning.
The statement read: “The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has clarified that the 20th National Sports Festival, Edo 2020, is going on as planned with competitions going on as scheduled.
“The Ministry and the Main Organizing Committee for the festival are unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo State Government to shut down the sports festival as there has been no official meeting or communication that relayed such information.
“The Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors are on ground in Benin City where the Festival is holding, and it is expected that the Edo State Government would formally invite the Ministry for a meeting should any urgency exist around the National Sports Festival or communicate officially with the Main Organizing Committee for the festival. The Ministry has no such communication.
“For the records, the Edo State government due to the cost implications of postponements occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic requested financial assistance from the Federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
“The Ministry has since been at work to secure the financial assistance which it believes is being processed. The MYSD and EDSG are determined to deliver a successful National Sports Festival.”