The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has pledged the readiness of the state to host the next edition of the National Sports Festival in 2024.
In a statement issued in Abeokuta on Saturday by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, Abiodun gave this indication on Friday when he played host to the NSF Evaluation Committee, in his office.
“Our state is the Gateway State and I do not think that any other state can compete and defeat us in the bidding for this National Sport Festival.
“So, on behalf of my team, I want to assure you that we will be ready to host this Sports Festival. I want to thank the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Sunday Dare. And I have told him, we are hosting this festival, we are ready for it.
“I think a festival like this, one of your topmost considerations should be a venue where you can guarantee the safety of the athletes and also the visitors. I think that consideration ranks higher than any other consideration, it has to be number one and once you take that on your check list, you can begin to look at other areas.
“I beat my chest and proudly say that Ogun State is one of the most peaceful states in the country, if not the most peaceful state in the country and I think that is a very serious consideration and we will continue to do everything to sustain that role as one of the most peaceful states in the country,” he said.
The governor who added that his administration sees the development of the sport sector as very important as it helps to instill discipline, leadership skills and also helps the youths to stay clear from social vices, said that hosting of the festival is fundamental to the social economic development of the state.
“We see the sport sector as a sector that we must promote because sport itself instills discipline in our youths, if you are preparing for any sporting activity, you are required to be disciplined, you have to wake up at a certain time to train, you have to develop interpersonal skills, once you are subjected to those kind of rigorous training exercises, you are less likely to engage in vices because you won’t have time,” he noted
Abiodun stated that if the state could host a business concern of $400m in the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone at a period when the exchange rate of the Naira to other foreign currencies is a bit epileptic.
He affirmed that the state is more than ready to host the festival.
He said “If we are ready for a business person at a time like this when there is a world recession, at a time when there are baseless speculations that we have security threats, at a time when our exchange rate of a Naira to other foreign currencies is a bit epileptic, if an investor is coming to Ogun state and investing $400m in our state, then, it says a lot.