With less than 24hours to the opening ceremony of the 19th National Sports Festival (NSF) slated to hold in the nation’s capital city, Abuja, the minster of FCT, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello has reaffirmed the commitment of the host city to stage a hitch-free event.
Bello, who gave the assurance during a pre-games world press conference organised by the host city, FCTA and Ministry of Sports, said the FCT as a host city has initiated good logistics plans ahead of the biennial event and hope to use the games to test run its ultimate goal of putting Abuja on the global map of sports tourism.
The 19th NSF tagged: “ABUJA 2018 World Series Edition” which will hold from December 6 to 16, 2018 at the Abuja National Stadium will feature 40 sporting events.
A total of 8,861 participants comprising 7, 227 athletes, 710 coaches, 332 team officials and 602 state delegates from 35 states and FCT are expected to storm Abuja for biannual games. Ebonyi State would not participate in the festival having failed taken part in Delegation Registration Meeting (DRM).
Bello, who also described the National Sports Festival as one of the pillars of Nigerian national unity, added that the FCT has come to rescue the sporting fiesta and get the event running again after six years in limbo.
“We believe that sports are formidable instrument for tourism, investment promotion and economic development, our current investment in infrastructure, rail transportation and public utilities are geared towards making the city attractive for these purposes and we are fully ready to host the rest of the 36 states of the country in Abuja.
On his part, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung revealed that all the technical aspects regarding the success of the festival have been perfected.
“We have produced medals for the games; produced doping control information and education materials for athletes, coaches, technical and accompanying officials; distributed the festival general rules and regulations to all stakeholders,” he revealed.
According to him, the welfare of the athletes would be of high priority during and after the competition, thus medical equipment were already put in place.
“We have also commenced the allocation of bed spaces in the Games Villages as well as rehearsal for the opening ceremony. Also, we have established poly clinics at the Games Villages, while reputable medical institutions have been contacted to serve as referral hospitals. All competitions venue will be medically covered during the games.”