The major sponsor of the 19th National Sports Festival, Greenfield Assets Limited have denied reports making rounds that they have pulled out of hosting the Festival due to financial constraints.
It will be noted that the Greenfield Assets limited entered into a partnership with the federal government through the ministry of youth and sports development to operate, promote, manage and provide all marketing activities for the Festival for a period of 10 years through the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) – National Sports Festival Marketing and Management Company Limited.
In a phone chat with the manager of the SPV, Mr Ugo Umeseaka, he denied that the Greenfield Assets Limited have backed out of sponsoring the Festivals because of their inability to contribute N400m of the budget.
According to media reports, Dalung told State House correspondents after meeting at the Presidential Villa that the fate of the festival, which was scheduled to start on December 6, hangs in the balance after the initial private sector partner, which was supposed to contribute N400 million of the budget backed out.
“There was no request for money. Is the budget for the sports festival N400m? N400m cannot run the sports festival. So how can we pull out because of N400m?” he queried.
He further reiterated that the Festival will host as scheduled while putting to bed fears and concerns that it will not hold.
“We are still very much on and we are still partners with the federal government. You will see us during the Games. The Festival is holding and it will be a reality, it will be full-fledged. Nothing is stopping it”, he said.
“For example, Edo will be participating in 30 sports. They have been training, they are in camp. Nobody is sleeping again, my team is working hard. No stone will be left unturned. The Festival must hold. There is no story,” he concluded.
The Festival is billed for Abuja from December 6th -16th 2018 will feature 37 sports.
Meanwhile, a total of 8,259 delegates from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT will be accommodated at the 5 designated games villages.
The delegates made up of athletes, coaches, team officials and state delegates will be hosted at the University of Abuja, NYSC Orientation Camp in Kubwa, Regina Pacis College Gariki, Government Science Secondary School Maitama and Government Girls Secondary School Dutse.
The Games Villages will open on December 4, 2018.