National Sports Festival in Benin continues

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The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has clarified that the 20th National Sports Festival, Edo 2020, is going on as planned with competitions going on as scheduled. 

It would be recalled that the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Edo 2020, in a statement by Ebomhiana Musa, Project Manager, Media and Communications for the Games, yesterday announced that it will end the Games abruptly for lack of funds. Rising from an emergency meeting, the LOC says it has to take the hard decision due to lack of funds having expended its reserves to kick start the games. 

They added that the FG is yet to redeem its pledge to support the host state financially for the cost of postponements, and was left with no option than to end the Games at noon today. 

But the Ministry and the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival said they are unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo State Government to shut down the sports festival as there has been no official meeting or communication that relayed such information.

This is contained in a release signed by Ramon Balogun, Assistant Director, Press, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

The Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors are on ground in Benin City where the festival is holding, and it is expected that the Edo State Government would formally invite the Ministry for a meeting should any urgency exist around the National Sports Festival or communicate officially with the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival. 

The Ministry has no such communication. For the records, the Edo State government due to the cost implications of postponements occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic requested financial assistance from the Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development. 

The Ministry has since been at work to secure the financial assistance which it believes is being processed. 

The statement added that the MYSD and EDSG are determined to deliver a successful National Sports Festival.

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