The Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung has apologised to Nigerians, especially sportsmen and women over the ministry’s inability to host the National Sports Festival since 2012.
Dalung, speaking in an interview with newsmen in Benin, said “it is regrettable that in six years young people were denied the opportunity to showcase their talents.
“Indeed those affected deserve a national apology and I proceed to apologise’’, he said.
The Minister said the importance of the National Sports Festival in promoting sporting activities in the country could not be overemphasised saying “the talents we lost during the six years were many’’.
He assured that the ministry would be able to host the festival in 2018 as the Federal Government had taken over hosting rights from Cross Rivers.
“The hosting rights were given to Cross Rivers and for six years they were unable to host the game.
“The singular act of the federal government owning up the game is enough commitment that the game will hold this year.
“We have also budgeted for the game to hold this year because we foresaw a situation where we might be boxed to a corner again if we take the hosting rights to another state.
“The issue with the states has been we don’t have funds and we are aware that many states cannot pay salaries.
“So we have decided to own the game and give young Nigerians the opportunity to showcase their talents,”Dalung said.