The Edo State Government on Monday appealed to the Federal Government to release funds towards the hosting of the National Sports Festival scheduled to begin April 2, and end April 14, 2021.
The State deputy governor, Hon. Philip Shaibu made the appeal at a Media briefing in Benin City, the State Capital, one year after the Festival was postponed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Shaibu, who is the chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, noted that the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare assured him that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the funds in order to ward-off further postponement.
He said the 14,000 contingents, including athletes and officials across the federation earlier slated for tbe tournament, tagged: “Edo 2020”, has been reduced to 8, 000 in line with NCDC guidelines and Covid-19 protocol which was endorsed by Stakeholders.
He also emphasized that all the athletes participating in the sports festival must take Covid-19 vaccines while Officials will take Covid-19 Vaccine at least 10 days ahead of the commencement of the Ceremony.
According to the deputy governor, “we appeal to the federal Ministry of Sports to release the funds in record time”, Edo State being the host had spent a lot of money on planning the the National Sports Festival before it was postponed.
Also, the Project Manager, team Edo, Mrs. Emeya Enehita, said the State will field a total of 925 Contingents in the tournament, comprising 689 Athletes and 236 officials.
She disclosed that the Athletes for the competition would be lodged in Ugbowo and Ekehuan Campuses of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) while the vaccination of team Edo members will begin on Tuesday.
The Permanent Secretary Cabinet, Government House, Mr. Peter Omonuwa, assured of adequate security across the accredited centres including the games village.
The Project Manager for Health, LOC, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, said the healthcare system in Edo State, has been rejigged optimally in managing health related crisis, adding that the LOC would need to buy drugs ahead of the Ceremony, following the expiration of former drugs which were procured for the exercise.
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