The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has revealed that six states are already bidding to host the next National Sports Festival(NSF) slated to hold in 2024.
Dare made this revelation after watching a gymnastics competition held in the multipurpose indoor sports hall of the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba at the ongoing 21st NSF.
He also confirmed that the Tony Nelsen-led committee which was responsible for picking the next hosts of the festival will be submitting their reports by Friday,December 9th.
“There is a process. By December 9th, my director, Tony Nelsen, will present to me the state that will host but until then, I won’t be able to disclose to you. They are working on evaluation and scoring before they decide.
“When we had Edo, Edo set a standard. It is a change of baton. When we had Delta, they knew they had to either give the same standard as Edo or do better.
“So we signposted that any state that would host must be ready. After Edo State, we set up a committee to review the MoU. So, before any state engages, there are clear terms and once you sign it, you must abide by it. That is very important, but this time around, we will announce the winner and then keep the runners-up close to our chest,” he said.
Dare added that even as Delta had been picked to host the festival, there was a contingency plan should Delta fail to host just as there were six states already battling to host the next NSF.
“We knew at any point that if Delta would not make it, Abuja was ready. At this point, there are six states that are jostling and the interest is increasing. There is a timeline. We know when a state is not ready and if that happens, we will just switch over to the runners-up,” he said.