The Ogun State Government has sought for the right to host the 22nd National Sports Festival (NSF) slated for 2024.
Dr Oluwadare Kehinde, state Commissioner of Youths and Sports, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba, appealed to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to consider the state again for the apex Nigeria’s sporting event.
“By the special grace of God, Ogun state will be hosting the next National Sports Festival come 2024 because we have shown interest and the Federal Ministry of Sports sent an assessment team down to Ogun state.
“We took them round our sporting facilities and I am sure they are convinced, because one, we have created an enabling environment,” said the commissioner.
Kehinde, who spoke on the sideline of 21st NSF in Asaba, said the state was capable of hosting the nation because it had successfully done that in the past.
“We are ready to do again because we also believe that the national sports festival will help us stimulate the economic activities of the state.
‘So we also want to use this medium to also appeal again to the Federal Ministry of Youth of Sports that it is time to consider Ogun again to host the next national sports festival,” he said.
On the impressive performance of the state’s athletes at the ongoing sporting fiesta, Kehinde attributed it to the proactiveness of the government as well as incorporation of ex-internationals in the administration of sports.
“We are very happy. Why we are having an improvement is because we decided to put a technical committee in place that comprises our ex-internationals like Falilat Ogunkoya, Prince Onatolu and we are tapping from their wealth of experience in term of selection.
“We are also not bias with our selection; so that really helped a lot and one of the things we also do is to pay their allowances on time.
“We also assured them instance awards, we will also do it immediately. So, I am hoping they will be able to do well.
“Most of our athletes that are here today are the one representing the country at the international level; like of Isau Ogunkunle, who happened to be a Commonwealth and Olympic star. We also have Latifat Tijani, also in Para show.
“Aside that, one of the things we do is to help them. We do proper training as well, because it’s one of the things that helped our team and we also came with a formidable team as well because we believe they will do everything possible to pride our state among the comity of states,” said the commissioner.
He disclosed that more than 400 athletes are representing the state, and competing in 29 sporting tournaments.