The fate of the 2018 National Sports Festival now hangs in the balance due to lack of funds.
With 17 days to the start of the Games, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has yet to source the N1.3bn required to host the festival.
On Monday, the sports minister, Solomon Dalung, rushed to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja to seek for the money.
A private sector partner was said to have initially promised to contribute N400m, while the Federal Government would take care of the balance of N900m.
But, Dalung, after the meeting with Buhari, expressed his frustrations over the decision of the private sector partner to back out at the last minute.
The minister, who spoke with State House correspondents, said the implication was that the government was left with the burden of coughing out the entire N1.3bn.
Incidentally, the government’s initial N900m had yet to be released as of Monday. The sports festival has not been held in the last six years.
The minister explained that his visit to Buhari was essentially to plead with him to intervene by making funds available for the Games.
Dalung also raised a second issue bordering on the possible banning of Nigeria by the World Anti Doping Agency.
Nigeria has no independent anti-doping agency in place.
A bill to bring the agency into existence is still hanging at the National Assembly.
However, concerning the sports festival, he was hopeful that his meeting with Buhari would yield positive results.