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Athletes groan, states unprepared as sports festival returns six years after

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The biennial National Sports Festival is set to hold in Abuja from December 6 to 16, after it was last staged in Lagos six years ago.

Cross River State, the next hosts after Lagos, failed to stage it due to a reported lack of funds before the Federal Government decided to stage it.

However, the fate of the festival hung in the balance at some point, when the government’s private sector partner, who was said to have initially promised to contribute N400m, while the FG would take care of the balance of N900m, pulled out.

The development forced the sports minister, Solomon Dalung, to beat a hasty retreat, which saw him running cap-in-hand to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on November 19 to seek for money for the hosting.

Two days to the commencement of Abuja 2018, Ogun State athletes have had no adequate preparation for the competition.

The PUNCH, December 4, 2018

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