The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has announced the closure of Abuja National Stadium for any activities as from the end of this week to allow for proper cleaning and maintenance ahead of the 19th National Sports Festival.
Speaking in Abuja, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports development, Adesola Olusade said the closure became necessary to pave way for clearing of the bushes both within the stadium and its surroundings.
Olusade who is also the chairman, Main Organising Committee for the 19th festival said the stadium will be used for opening and closing ceremony in addition to other events that will take place in the edifice.
“We have restored light and water to the stadium and we are trying to embark on proper cleaning of all the rooms both at the package A and B. This cleaning will not only be for Abuja National Stadium alone, we will carry out proper maintenance and cleaning in all facilities that we are going to use for the festival”
Speaking on the NSF, Adesola said 17,623 athletes and officials from 36 states and the FCT had so far registered for the 2018 edition.
He said the figure was made up of 11,673 athletes, 2,801 coaches, 2,166 team officials and 983 state delegates.
“We are on course and all necessary arrangements have been put in place ahead of the festival.
“We are constantly in talks with the Minister of the FCT, Muhammed Bello, and he has assured us that all necessary arrangements are on course,’’ the Permanent Secretary said.
Adesola said the National Youth Service Corps camp in Kubwa would be one of the hostels for the athletes.
The festival’s 2018 edition will feature 37 sports, as against 25 in the last edition held at Lagos in 2012.
The ministry had in July signed a partnership agreement with Greenfield Assets Limited to rebrand, market and re-package the next five editions of the festival.