The Federal Government has stated that the 20th National Sports Festival currently ongoing in Edo State will continue as planned despite shutdown threats by the Local Organising Committee.
On Wednesday, the LOC had stated that the Federal Government was yet to redeem its pledge to support the host state financially for the cost of postponements, which has left it with no option but to end the games at noon on Thursday.
However, on Thursday, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development came out to state that it was not aware of any officially documented move to shut down the games.
This was contained in a statement by Ramon Balogun, assistant director press Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
“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,” the statement read.
“The Ministry and the Main Organizing Committee for the festival 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.
“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 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.”