The Edo State Government Wednesday denied the claim by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development that the renovation of the gymnasium and multipurpose hall at Etete area in Benin City was carried out by the apex sports authorities.
Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, flayed the claim when he led officials of the state government on inspection of the gymnasium and multipurpose hall.
He expressed dismay over the erection of a signpost at the site indicating that the project was undertaken by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development.
Shaibu declared that the renovation of the sports edifice was completed by the Edo State Government in preparation for the hosting of the 2020 National Sports Festival, noting that the contractor will be invited to explain the rationale behind erecting the sign post at the project site.
The deputy governor ordered the immediate removal of the sign post and arrest of any person connected with the said renovation.
On the hosting of the National Sports Festival, Shaibu assured that the Edo State Government is ready for the sports fiesta, noting however, that it all depends on when the Federal Government is ready to fulfil its side of the bargain.
But a statement from the sports ministry, signed by the media aide to the sports minister, John Joshua-Akanji, stated that the facilities belonged to the Federal Government.
“The multi-purpose sports hall remains the property of the Federal Government and the Ministry,” the statement read in part.
“In preparation for the Edo sports festival, the Edo State Government agreed to renovate the multi-purpose sports hall, upon the request of the minister.
“Upon completion, Governor (Godwin) Obaseki, Deputy Governor Shaibu and the minister, all inspected the project and Edo State was praised for salvaging the facility.”
The statement added that a mistake by the contractor caused the mix-up.
“In the 2020 Budget Appropriation, a provision was made for the multi-purpose sports hall in Edo and the ministry subsequently approved the construction of a new canteen for athletes, a security guard house and a public toilet. In addition, the fencing of the entire facility was slated for execution later this year.
“The project signboard erected by the contractor did not factually capture all the items of works that were ongoing such as the canteen, the security guard house and the public toilet.”