By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeris – Edo state government on Friday launched a 30-day countdown to the commencement of the 20th National Sports Festival tagged; ‘Edo 2020’ with a road show to create more awareness on the games scheduled to begin on March 22, 2020 to April 1, 2020.
In his remarks, Governor Godwin Obaseki, reiterated his administration’s commitment to hosting the rest of Nigeria, assuring that everything required by the Organizing Committees are already in place.
Earlier, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee and the Deputy Governor of the host state, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu in a press conference assured the 11,500 athletes and officials expected to participate in the games of adequate security, medical attention, transportation, catering services and other logistics.
“We decided to let the public know how far we have gone with our preparation for the 2020 National Sports Festival today as the 30 days countdown begins on Saturday.
“The journey started 432 days ago, precisely on December 16, 2018, when the hosting rights of the festival was awarded to Edo state during the closing ceremony of 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja.”
According to the Deputy Governor, the state swung into action and began preparation immediately after the Governor signed an agreement with the Federal Ministry of Sports, by investing massively in sports infrastructure and mobilizing various planning Committees with a mandate to ensure a very successful sports festival in Edo.
Hon. Shuaibu who restated Edo government’s readiness to host Nigeria come March 22 declared that the approved date is sacrosanct.
On the logistics arrangement, the he said: “We are providing accommodation for about 11,500 athletes and officials.
“The University of Benin Hostels, Ugbowo and Ekehuan campuses as well as Federal Girls College, Benin City will serve as the Games Village. The students at the university of Benin went on break yesterday (Thursday), and the renovation works at the hostels have commenced.”
On catering,” we shall operate a central feeding system and the caterers will soon be screened and profiled before they are engaged,” he said.
While speaking on transportation, the LOC boss said a central transport system shall be operated, hence, their plans to create transport malls at the games village.
He added that special parks will be created for ease of movement of athletes, officials and dignitaries including the spectators.
“Vehicular movement shall be restricted at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium.”
On security and health, the Deputy Governor assured that the state will not compromise; adding, “Polycyclic will be established at games villages while medical centers will be sited at all the games venues. Volunteer security will be on ground to support official state security agencies. About 1000 public Work Volunteers are prepared to function,” he emphasized.