President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to declare open the 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) scheduled to hold in Edo State from April 2-14, 2021
Musa Ebomhiana, Head of Media and Communications, Local Organising Committee (LOC), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that President Buhari would virtually declare the fiesta officially open on April 6, four days after its commencement.
Mr Ebomhiana said the April 2 commencement date for the event remained unchanged among parties, unlike the previous times when they were later changed.
“The presidency has graciously agreed to declare the Games open on April 6, after the Easter holiday,” he said.
Mr Ebomhiana, who is also the Chief Press Secretary to the Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, noted that the state had been ready for the games since March 2020.
He said the state had all the equipment and facilities on ground preparatory for the commencement of the games before the coronavirus pandemic struck and then the lockdown.
According to Mr Ebomhiana, the NSF will witness few changes in its format following the drastic reduction in the number of athletes and officials expected at the games.
“The two-phase plan will no longer hold because the number of athletes and officials has reduced from 14,000 to 8,000; this reduction is almost half the initial expected number.
“So, there might be no need for the two-phase arrangement, but we have insisted on the production of COVID-19 vaccination certificates by all the athletes and officials coming from the 36 states and the FCT.