Barring last-minute changes, the 20th National Sports Festival going on in Benin, Edo State capital will end abruptly after seven days of activities over the Federal Government’s failure to release fund.
The NSF tagged “Edo 2020” was scheduled to run for 12 days but will now end on Thursday (today) due to paucity of funds.
According to a statement on Wednesday, the Coordinator of Media and Publicity, National Sports Festival, Ebomhiana Musa, the decision was taken after an emergency meeting of the Local Organising Committee headed by Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu.
Ebomhiana announced that the Edo State Government will shut down the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival by 12 noon on Thursday (today).
He said, “The Local Organising Committee, Edo2020 regrets to announce that it will end the games abruptly tomorrow, Thursday, April 8, 2021, for lack of funds.
“Rising from an emergency meeting this evening, the LOC says it has to take this hard decision due to lack of funds having expended its reserves to kick start the games.
“Regrettably, the FG is yet to redeem its pledge to support us as the host state financially for the cost of postponements. So, we are left with no option but to end the games at noon tomorrow.”
Edo State had raised the alarm over non availability of funds, 24-hours to the commencement of the festival due to the FG’s failure to release the fund it promised.
The festival which had suffered several postponements due to COVID-19 pandemic has no fewer than 8,000 athletes from different states of the federation participating.
The 20th NSF was officially declared open on Tuesday by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, following the inability of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to attend due to bad weather.