By Muhyideen Jimoh
Mr Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, has inaugurated a 12 -member committee to ensure COVID-19-compliant infrastructure and protocols for the 20th National Sports Festival tagged “Edo 2020”.
The virtual inauguration by Dare in Abuja is a follow-up to the extraordinary National Council on Sports meeting on May 18, which called for the hosting of the postponed festival later in the year.
The minister urged members of the committee to interface with relevant agencies to ensure COVID-19-compliant infrastructure for the festival.
“Your terms of reference include ascertaining the level of COVID-19 compliance to infrastructure put in place by the Edo government,
“You should also work out and put in place requirements to manage any foreseeable and unforeseeable crises that may arise as a result of the organisation of the 20th festival,” he said.
Dare also advised the committee to prepare a code of operations (COVID-19 protocols) that would guide athletes, officials, spectators and relevant stakeholders for the successful hosting of the event.
He called on the committee to come up with a new date for the festival to be hosted not later than November.
Earlier, Mr Tonobok Okowa, Chairman of the Committee and Executive Chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, had pledged to deliver on the national assignment.
“I can assure you that the committee is committed to ensuring it deliver on this national assignment,” Okowa said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee is made up of sports commissioners from the six states in the south-south geo-political zone, officials from the ministries of health, youth and sports, NCDC, State Directors of Sports Forum, and Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Mr Peter Nelson, Acting Director, Planning, Monitoring and Information, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, is to serve as the Secretary of the committee.
The committee has till June 18 to submit its report.
The 20th sports festival was initially scheduled for March 22 to April 1, but was postponed following an outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. (NAN)