Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, says the state is ready to host the National Sports Festival on the new date once the funds promised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is released.
The 20th National Sports Festival, tagged Edo 2020, had suffered several postponements from March 2020.
But in a letter addressed to states and signed by the Secretary of the Main Organising Committee of the NSF, Peter Nelson, and dated March 10, the sports festival will start on April 2 and end April 14.
In February, sports minister Sunday Dare after an emergency meeting of the National Council on Sports, which had in attendance Shaibu, disclosed that the Federal Government would offer financial assistance to the Edo State Government in hosting the National Sports Festival.
The Deputy Governor said on Monday in Benin City that inadequate funds had been a major hindrance in hosting the festival, adding that the facilities to host a successful event were ready according to Punch.
He said, “The sports minister, Mr. Sunday Dare, has given a date for the commencement of the festival. We are in touch with him and still waiting for resources to host the game. The moment the resources are available, we are ready,” Shaibu said.
“What actually led to the latest postponement is the unavailability of funds and the minister has assured that funding is not the problem. We have always been ready in Edo and we are ready.”
The Deputy Governor, however, declined comments on the amount the state needed to host the event.
“We need funds that can take us through. I don’t know what the ministry has approved and nobody has told me what has been approved. What has been approved is still speculation.”
The sports festival was scheduled to hold between March and April 2020, but suffered several postponements due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and a paucity of funds by the host state.