The Federal Government has insisted that activities at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Edo State will continue amid reports of suspected cancellation over lack of fund.
The federal government made this known in the wake of a reported threat by the local organising committee to suspend the sporting event on Thursday at midday.
In a statement by Ramon Balogun, Assistant Director of Press, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the federal government said it was unaware of any threat by Edo state to shut down the sports festival.
It also urged the local organising committee to formally invite the ministry for a meeting should any urgency exist as regard the festival.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has clarified that the 20th National Sports Festival, Edo 2020, is going on as planned with competitions going on as scheduled,” the statement read.
“The Ministry and the Main Organizing Committee for the festival are unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo State Government to shut down the sports festival as there has been no official meeting or communication that relayed such information.
“The Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors are on ground in Benin City where the Festival is holding, and it is expected that the Edo State Government would formally invite the Ministry for a meeting should any urgency exist around the National Sports Festival or communicate officially with the Main Organizing Committee for the festival. The Ministry has no such communication.
“For the records, the Edo State government due to the cost implications of postponements occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic requested financial assistance from the Federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development,” it added.
The ministry also disclosed in the statement that at least work has been ongoing to procure financial aid, while reiterating commitment to ensure a successful festival.