The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung, has advised state governments to stop using sports facilities for social events like marriages, weddings and carnivals.
Dalung gave the advice on Saturday in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, after inspecting facilities at the UJ Esuene Stadium and some of the facilities slated for use during the forthcoming 19th National Sports Festival.
In his words; “The turf of the football pitch here appears to be in bad shape and there is evidence that it was in good shape before, but along the line, something happened.”
“So, I suggest that football pitches across the country be exclusively used for those things that they are meant for and not to be subjected to other events that could destroy the turf.”
“Invariably, what I am suggesting is that state governments should not subject sports facilities to other events such as marriage, wedding, carnival, cultural events and so on.”
The minister attributed this advice to the poor maintenance culture of Nigerians, adding that the maintenance of such facilities would gulp more money.
Dalung said “A lot still needs to be done,” thereby urging the Cross River State Government to work on the facilities to get them ready for the National Sports Festival.
The Cross River State Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Asu Okang, in his remarks, said the state had the capacity to host the festival if given the final nod.
The minister and his team inspected the football pitch, volleyball, handball and basketball courts, as well as accommodation facilities at the Cross River University of Technology, Calabar.
The Cross River State government has reiterated its commitment and readiness to host the National Sports Festival which has been slated to hold in the state capital, Calabar, from November 8 to 21, 2016.
The National Sports Festival objectives include building a robust grassroots talent pool as well as enhancing and elevating sports globally and regionally.
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