By Ushang Ewa
The Cross River State government requested the sum of 650 million Naira to put “finishing touches” to the necessary facilities required for the botched 19th National Sports Festival say sources in Abuja.
This comes on the heels of the revocation of the right to host the games by the state as Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung had told journalists the games will now hold in the first quarter of 2017 in Abuja.
But Vanguard reports that its sources in the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA fear that the games may not hold in Abuja as scheduled due to the fact the FCTA is yet to receive any information concerning the games from the sports ministry.
“We at the FCT administration have heard the sports minister over the media talking about the sports festival taking place in Abuja by the first quarter of next year. But from my years of experience, there is a very high possibility that it may not be able to hold by that time because that is the time we will be pursuing the budget and approvals.
“It is obvious that Cross River State is not ready to host the festival. Remember that they were originally billed to host in 2014, they later pushed it to 2015 and now in 2016 they started asking the Sports Ministry for N650 million. All I know is that the festival can only hold by the first quarter of next year if they have kept the money for that” the source told Vanguard.
CrossRiverWatch learnt that the demand for the huge sum angered Dalung who was already upset at the several postponements by the Cross River State government.
The games, christened “Centenary games” and later “Paradise games” were initially billed for 2014 after the ‘Eko Games’ in 2012 where Cross River placed 8 on the medals table. The games have been postponed about 5 times from the 2014 date to 2015 and 2016.
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