By Igbaugba Ehigimetor
The Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) says no fewer than 400 traffic personnel will be deployed in Benin metropolis during the 20th National Sports Festival (NSF).
Dennis Oloriegbe, the agency’s Managing Director, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Thursday the move was to ensure a smooth flow of traffic during the event.
He said the personnel would also be involved in rescue and emergency operations, as well as assist visitors navigate their way during the event.
NAN reports that the 20th NSF tagged “Edo 2020” is officially billed to begin on Friday and end on April 14.
A total of 8,000 athletes who are expected for the nation’s biggest sports fiesta, will start arriving in Edo from Friday.
The festival’s opening ceremony is fixed for Tuesday.
“While EDSTMA will deploy 200 of its staff for the operation, the rest are adhoc staff engaged for the purpose of the festival,” Oloriegbe said.
He said the agency had commenced the installation of directional, parking and identification signages across the metropolis for the purpose of the festival.
“If you move across the city this (Thursday) morning, you will see that we have started fixing directional signages, parking signages and identification signages.
“We also started the training of adhoc staff who have been engaged to complement the 200 we will be deploying because the crowd will be massive.
“We are working to ensure free flow of traffic during the festival, while parking will be banned in some areas in the city.
“We are setting up information centres which will give visitors directions during the festival, just as we have also set up rescue and emergency teams that will attend to any issue of emergency.”
Oloriegbe, however, noted that in spite of the concentration of its personnel within and around venues of the festival, other parts of the city would not be neglected.
“We are not collapsing our operations in other parts of the state,” he assured.(NAN)