Determined to host a world-class National Sports Festival in 2024, the Ogun State Government and the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
In his remarks after the signing of the MoU at the Governor’s Office, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, on Saturday, Governor Dapo Abiodun informed the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, that Ogun is noted for recording many firsts and the hosting of the competition would not be an exception.
“Ogun State indigenes have invested in sports development in Nigeria. Apart from that we have eminent sports men and women who have distinguished themselves and brought glory to this country. We are ready to host a world-class festival next year. We have capable hands and sponsors that are ready to support us.
“I want to assure you that we will live up to expectations as reflected in the MoU. I can assure you that we will not disappoint you.
“I want to assure you that like you have said to me that the one in Edo was a very good showing, the one in Delta was better than the one in Edo, the one in Ogun will be the best. We will immediately move to set up a Local Organizing Committee,” the governor stated.
He explained that the National Sports Festival was developed to promote unity and cohesion among the youths, observing that Ogun as a state with a huge number of youths due to the large number of education institutions, his administration has developed strategies to gainfully engage them through sports and other relevant activities.
“Sports is a tool to teach our youth leadership skills development, discipline, team work and self confidence. When youth are busy through sports engagements, they won’t have time for social vices. Some of them have developed into world beaters and we will continue to encourage them”, Abiodun added
The governor recalled how the state performed very well in the last edition of the Festival by hauling 70 medals, appreciating the Minister and the Federal Ministry of Sports for supporting the state at the bidding stage.
He, however, assured that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure a successful sports festival next year.
In his response, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, said the choice of Ogun State as the next host was due to its culture of sports development, availability of sporting infrastructure and potentials to host a befitting festival that would linger for a long time.
He said the state was blessed with prominent sports men and women who have made the country proud, expressing confidence that its performance as the host of the next edition would surpass the last two editions.
While calling on the state to commence preparation as soon as possible, the Minister assured the corporate bodies that are ready to sponsor the competition handsome incentives in terms of tax holidays among others.