NSF Hosting Bid: Sports Minister Says Not Business As Usual

By Ikenga Chronicles December 10, 2018

NSF Hosting Bid: Sports Minister Says Not Business As Usual

Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has warned that the bidding for the next edition of the National Sports Festival (NSF) will no longer be politicised as usual.

Hinting that two states have already indicated interest to bid for the event, Dalung stated that state governments who want to use the hosting right as political campaign tool for the 2019 elections will not be allowed to.

He recounted the ordeal he went through putting the tournament in place, lampooning government for not exploiting the advantages of the tournament for the past six years it was not organised.

His words: “I was not happy that government failed to organise this in the last six years. My satisfaction is the happiness among the participating youths. We did not also talk about the huge business opportunities it provided for the traders.

“What Nigeria and Nigerians lost for not hosting the tournament in the past six years is quantifiable. I will say shame unto our leaders for denying young people opportunities like this.

“I challenge the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to release the figure for crime rate since the commencement of the tournament and prove me wrong if crime did not drop.

“Government should fund sports instead of buying weapons. Sports still remain the sector to move Nigeria forward.

On the plans in place to ensure the continuation of the festival, he said: “It was not easy putting this together.

The challenges I faced like lack of fund, no cooperation from people were too much. I told them that I will only answer my father’s name.

“I told them the tournament must go on whether they like it or not. I resolved that even if it is two or three persons around, the tournament must go on. As it is, all the 36 states are participating today.