Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, has assured the international communities, particularly the International Olympic Committee (IOC), that Nigeria is safe and secure to host the 2022 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) if given the hosting right.
The Abuja, the Nigerian capital city was presented recently at the Sport Accord Summit in Bangkok, as one of the African cities alongside in the race to host the 2022 Summer Youth Olympics Games.
Speaking shortly after meeting with a delegation from IOC, led by Associate Director of Youth Olympic Games, Mr Antoine Geotschy, Dalung assured that, Nigeria has organization capacity in term of experience and technical know–as well as all the necessary requirements to host the YOG.
According to him, Abuja is quite ready like. “I told them because we have hosted international competition in the pass, couple with fact that IOC has mandated the host country not to build a new structure, but they should improve on their existing structures or they should make use of artificial sports facilities which thereafter can be dismantle.
“All we need to do, is tighten those things that we considered loss in order for us to accommodate the world. We need to improve on our facilities. And this has given us an advantage over the other country that had indicated interest as well to host the games.
“The process designed by IOC is very different from normal bidding and hosting processes with a lot of investment and money spent. But they have decided that for the Youth Olympic Games countries should spend nothing in the process of securing the bid and that will enable weaker countries with the potentials to host.”
When quizzed if security will not be a challenge, he replied: “I don’t see security as a problem. Yes, we have security challenges but I think we are exaggerating our situation beyond the reality on the ground.
There is no country or society that has no challenges. Malaysian was having security challenges, US, who are bidding to host World Cup in 2022 is also facing challenge of shooting going on every day. But that cannot be say those countries are not secure. I think for us, security is never a challenge. Abuja is ready and secure to host the world.”
Speaking on the important of their visit, the Associate Director Youth Olympic Games, Mr. Antoine Geotschy, said they were in Nigeria to evaluate country‘s facilities regarding the hosting bid for 2022 Olympic Youth Games
“We are here to look at facilities that existing in the country which are used by young people in everyday to practice and facilities that can be used for high level competition.”
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