Ben Peters, Abuja
The Ogun State Government and the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Saturday, 6th May 2023.
Reacting after signing the MoU at the Governor’s Office in Oke Mosan, Abeokuta on Saturday, Governor Dapo Abiodun updated the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare that Ogun is noted for recording many firsts and hosting of the competition would not be an exception.
“Ogun State indigenes have invested in sports development in Nigeria. Apart from that, we have eminent sports men and women who have distinguished themselves and brought glory to this country. We are ready to host a world-class festival next year. We have capable hands and sponsors that are ready to support us.
“I want to assure you that we will live up to expectations as reflected in the MoU. I can assure you that we will not disappoint you.
“I want to assure you that, like you have said to me that the one in Edo was a very good showing, the one in Delta was better than the one in Edo, the one in Ogun will be the best. We will immediately move to set up a Local Organizing Committee,” the governor stated.
Governor Abiodun expatiated that the National Sports Festival was introduced to promote unity and cohesion among the youths, noting that Ogun as a state with a huge number of youths due to the large number of education institutions, his administration has developed strategies to productively engage them through sports and other relevant activities.
“Sports is a tool to teach our youth leadership skills development, discipline, team work and self confidence. When youth are busy through sports engagements, they won’t have time for social vices. Some of them have developed into world beaters and we will continue to encourage them”, Abiodun added
The governor recollected how the state performed very well in the last edition of the Festival, winning 70 medals, and appreciated the Minister and the Federal Ministry of Sports for supporting the state at the bidding stage. Assuring that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure a successful National Sports Festival in the year 2024.
In his remarks, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare said the choice of Ogun State as the next host was due to its culture of sports development, availability of sporting infrastructure and potentials to host a befitting festival that would linger for a long time.
He said the state has been blessed with famous sports men and women making the country proud, and expressed confidence that its performance as the host of the next edition will outshine the last two editions.
The Sports Minister however, called on the state to start preparations, as soon as possible, assuring corporate bodies that are ready to sponsor the competition handsome incentives, such as; tax holidays, and others.