Aftermath so many preparations ahead the long-awaited 19th National Sports Festival which has suffered several postponement due to paucity of fund; the MOC, LOC alongside the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development under the leadership of Barr. Solomon Selcap Dalung has dime it fit to begin the game this Thursday 6th December, 2018.
As a results a Scientific Congress was conducted today at the Social and Cultural Center at Area 10 Garki, Abuja. Among those present are: Minister of Youths and Sports Development, NFF Secretary-general, Permanent Secretary, Chairman House Committee on Sports, NAWIS President, Director of Planing, Management & Information, NUGA Secretary-general, NAPHER.SD, Director of Press, National Federation heads, Director of FEAD, Federations Secretaries and other invited guests.
According to NAPHER.SD president (Prof. R.O Okuneye) while addressing the public, "The essence of a congress like this is to lighten up all stakeholders' consciousness on the philosophy, vision, mission and core values entrenched in the Festival.
He continued by appreciating the (FMYSD, MOC, LOC) also, the 19th edition theme: "Excellence, Sportsmanship and Unity".
"There will be winners so also losers and at the end of of it, we embrace ourselves and stay together happily" he summarized.
Nonetheless, the program which lasted till 5pm with different lectures been delivered on topics regarding Sports development, Anti-doping awareness with notable names like: Engr. Chika Chukumeriji (Olympian & TD Taekwondo Federation of Nigeria), Profs. Oby Okonwkor, Pharm. Odo Rafael Okafor, Profs. F.B Adeyanju, Mr. Bola Orodele and Profs. E.A Gunen.
The (Chairman House Committee on Sports) briefed news men, "We have really invested so much in Sports but the male Football teams are not performing well as expected and since the Women sports are doing well, we look forward to support them more"
Adding, "Delay of funds in Sports is as a result of the high bureaucracy, hopefully we will stop it soon". And the Anti-doping, Federal Ministry of Sports bills will be consider soon" Goni concluded.
According to Barr. Solomon Selcap Dalung, who told journalists, "Sports has gone beyond recreation, because we have really achieved alot through Sports since my assumption as a Sports Minister.
"Our athletes has made us proud, especially the female athletes in respective of their gender, in Hockey, Paralympics, Basketball, Scrabble, Football, Badminton to mention but a few.
He affirmed, "Sports is a major economic factor not recreation, sports create wealth and unity. And it's a healthy practice which can't be push aside.
Dalung said, it's unfortunate they have to struggle for funds every time in order to carry out Sports events thereby hampering their progress.
"Its an injustice to us, because the provision given to us isn't enough despite creating so many employment opportunities; Nigerians must create sufficient funds to improve Sports development" he maintained.
Finally, the Minister of Sports declared the 'Unity Games' opened shortly after his speech that enabled the audience to understand more about the challenges facing development of Sports in the country.