Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, says the 2020 National Sports Festival scheduled for Benin, Edo State, could hold this year, but added that the ministry will be properly guided before taking a final decision.
The NSF was postponed in March by the sports minister as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
With normalcy gradually returning, Dare said the festival could hold before December.
“Our expectation is that it happens this year,” Dare said on Channels TV’s Sports This Morning.
“I take my cue from the meeting of the National Council on Sports. We had a virtual meeting about 11 weeks ago and the council unanimously agreed that the sports festival should hold in 2020, and that means perhaps between now and December.
“We will be working with the relevant authorities before we can take the decision. I’ve said it repeatedly; the ministry of sports will be properly guided before we take a final decision.”
The minister on May 19 set up an 11-man committee to look into the possibility of hosting the event this year.
The committee submitted its report on June 12, and Dare says the report is currently with the implementation committee.
“We immediately set up an 11-man committee that went to Benin to check the facilities and to also check the COVID-19 infrastructure in place, to see how the protocols are set out and they have worked within 30 days, the report was submitted to the ministry, and the implementation committee is looking at it.
“We had a representative of the NCDC, a representative from the health ministry and a representative from the Presidential Task Force and what they have done is a thorough job.
“What they have done is to recommend looking at between now till December, what are the possibilities and what are the things that need to be in place but I think for us, the most important thing is working with the PTF, the NCDC and the health ministry,” he added.