By Olusola ‘Jide @jide_olusola
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Barr Solomon Dalung has revealed that the funds for the National Sports Festival were just released today but request had been sent since March.
He made this call during the Pre Scientific Congress on National Sports Festival in Abuja on Monday while decrying the late release of funds needed to host the Festival
According to him, the ministry has been able to record huge successes despite the poor budgetary allocation of the ministry.
“All these huge successes were recorded with paltry allocation and all I said is injustice. Nigeria must look round investing in sports because it’s doing very well.”
“We are planning and hosting the national sports festival in 9 months instead of 2 years. You should expect some of the challenges we are facing, he noted.
He further stated that Nigeria has not learnt any lesson by releasing funds very late. He also stated that since he was appointed a minister, the ministry has never gotten funds released on time.
“We must always struggle, follow and sometimes reach the office of the president before we get funds released to us, he bemoaned.
“The government must change the attitude of releasing money at the dying minute. We have not come to appreciate sports as major factor of national development. We still see sports as recreation. Sports create wealth, promotes peace and unity,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, a schedule of events and the various venues has been released by the Local organizing Committee with the opening ceremony slated for December 6 from 5pm. Events billed for same day are Deaf table tennis, Para Table Tennis and the main Table Tennis.
Arrival of state contingents at the Games Villages will start on Tuesday December 4, 2018.
The 19th National Sports Festival is billed for Abuja from December 6th -16th 2018 and it will feature 37 sports