Former Sports Commissioner in Edo State, Brown Ebewele, says the federal government would be encouraging corruption in the nation’s sports if it allowed the sports minister, Solomon Dalung, to spend N1.2 billion on the 2018 National Sports Festival, which begins tomorrow in Abuja.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa yesterday boasted the morals of Delta State athletes taking part in the festival by promising the sum of N1 million for every gold won.
He held a prayer session with Team Delta at the Stephen Keshi Stadium before their departure for Abuja yesterday.
Ebewele told The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday that it was wrong for Dalung to be given such ‘huge amount of money’ for a National Sports Festival, when the sports ministry was not embarking on construction of any new project.
“I was told that Dalung has just received N1.2 billion from the federal government to host the National Sports Festival.
Is the sports ministry constructing any new facility for the fiesta? The festival is beginning on Thursday, and I don’t see any magic Dalung will do to re-lay the tartan track of the Abuja National Stadium. And if he is not replacing the track or building a new tennis court for the festival, then what is the reason of releasing N1.2 billion to him?
“The various state government will cater for the accommodation, feeding, transportation and medical of its contingent.
What is left for Dalung is to produce the medals and pay technical officials.
The sports ministry don’t need more than N100 million for that purpose. I insist Dalung don’t need N1.2 billion to host the National Sports Festival in Abuja, Ebewele stated.
Okowa told Team Delta contingent: “You have worked very hard in the last three weeks, it is time to harvest the medals. You are Team Delta, remember that there is no team that will be like Team Delta and I believe your coaches have been doing very well. For every gold, you will get N1million, silver medallist will get N500, 000 and every bronze medallist will get N250, 000.”
Okowa further reminded the athletes saying: “We are the defending champion, and the hands of God will bring back this trophy.”
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