The Nigeria Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung on Monday commended the Government of Edo State for its preparedness to host the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival billed for 2020.
The sports minister who paid an unscheduled visit to the state to assess the level of work at facilities for the Games now being referred to as “Benin 2020”, was left speechless after inspecting facilities at the various locations designated for the hosting of the games. The facilities include the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin Technical College and the University of Benin.
“I must confess that from what I have seen on ground, the Edo State Government is more prepared for the hosting of the National Sports Festival than I had imagined. Of course, there is still the need for some touches here and there but that is where the Federal Government comes in because the National Sports Festival is a Federal Government event. Even the University of Benin from the facilities I see on ground, can successfully host the games and I seize the opportunity to commend the founding fathers of the institution for this great initiative. I am totally happy with all the locations visited here in Benin-City”, the minister declared.
Asked to comment on the renovation work done so far on the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Dalung said he was more than satisfied.
“The contractor has already assured that the stadium will be ready by April. The stadium from what I have seen is capable of becoming the best in the country but I have already advised the Edo State Government not to compromise quality. The stadium is going to become not only a state monument but also a national monument hence the need to emphasise the use of quality materials and products”, the minister stated.
Responding on behalf of the Edo State Government, Barrister Godwin Dudu-Orumen, the Chairman Edo State Sports Commission re-iterated the readiness of the state to host the best national sports festival. He said the state will leave no stone unturned to achieve this.
“The Governor Godwin Obaseki led administration is already re-constructing the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to international standard and we are building 20 mini stadia in the 18 local governments of the state. We not only want to host the games, we want it to be the best ever since the inception of the games and you can rest assured that we are going to put every machinery in place to achieve that”, he stated.
Edo State was awarded the hosting rights for the 20th National Sports Festival last December in Abuja at the close of the 19th edition which was also held in Abuja.