Home SPORTS I’ll Take Advantage Of National Sports Festival To Put Abuja On World...

I’ll Take Advantage Of National Sports Festival To Put Abuja On World Map – Minister

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has vowed to use the opportunity of the 19th National Sports Festival to put Abuja on the global map of sports tourism in order to attract investment and economic development.

The minister, who made spoke today, Tuesday, at a news briefing on the 19th National Sports Festival scheduled to hold in Abuja from December 6 to 16, said that the FCT Administration is committed to developing a sporting brand like other major cities of the world.

According to him, the ongoing vigorous investment in infrastructure, rail transportation and public utilities are geared towards making the city attractive for these purposes.

The minister described sport as one of the three major pillars of national unity, including the National Youth Service Corps and the FCT, adding that the FCTA is determined to revive the National Sports Festival that had been in limbo for the past six years to promote the ideals that unite the country together.

Malam Musa Bello said that the FCT as co host has been assigned a portfolio of four critical subcommittees, namely – opening and closing ceremonies sub-committees as well as security and transportation, out of the 17 subcommittees that constitute the main organizing committee. He said that the FCT will also support the Games Village subcommittee with some vital logistics.

The Minister disclosed that the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa, who is a veteran in sports administration, having once served as Permanent Secretary, Sports Ministry, will chair the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), and will also function as Vice Chairman of the Main Organizing Committee (MOC).

Musa Bello added that the FCT, beyond its role as anchor to the LOC, would be rolling out 470 athletes and officials who would be competing in over 27 events, adding that both closed and open camps have been held for the athletes.

He said that the FCT’s contingent to the event cut across ethnic and geographical landscape of the country, reflecting the rich diversity and vision of FCT as the centre of national unity.

“Our objective is also not only to host but to showcase Nigeria at its best and come tops in the competitions.”

In his own remarks, the minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung, said that the Federal Government has accepted the resolution of the National Council on Sports to take over the organization and hosting of the Games in 2018 with Abuja as the host city. 

He commended the FCT Administration and other stakeholders for working to pull off such huge achievement of hosting the event which would normally require two years in advance for preparations.