16 May 2018

Nigeria: IOC Gives Abuja Facilities Pass Mark for 2022 Youth Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegation on inspection of facilities in Nigeria says it is satisfied with the country's sporting facilities and infrastructure at the Abuja National Stadium and its environs.

The leader of the delegation and Associate Director for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games, Mr Antoine Goetschy made the remark when the 4-man delegation paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung in his office in Abuja yesterday.

Goetschy expressed satisfaction with the infrastructure on ground and said they will send their report for further processing.

"We visited many of the sports facilities that you can find here in the Federal Capital. We also saw the very large constructions made in 2003 when you hosted the All Africa Games. We have seen all we need to see and we will build the best reports possible.

"We discussed delegation of responsibility which is division of labour. We need to know who is in charge of what as a general principle. There are some facilities that will need a bit of upgrade and refurbishment or temporary additional facilities like grandstand or lighting and we will like to know how this is provided.

"We saw different options of accommodation for delegations and officials and we need more information on this. Besides this, the involvement of the young people is a key element to make sure the event is delivered for, by and with young people," Goetschy said.

In his response, Dalung reiterated Federal Government's resolve to support the bid for the country to host the 2022 Youth Olympic Games.

"The Federal government will come in with a dedicated budget on an annual basis to put in place some of the major infrastructure, if given the hosting rights. We will also carry the private sector along. We are going to host the National Sports Festival soon so that will be a prelude to some of these facility upgrades," he said

In the same vein, the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee Engr Habu Gumel assured the delegation that Nigeria will even be ready to host the games at the shortest notification.

"I want to assure you that Abuja is ready to host the Games. We will give all the facilities and infrastructure a face lift if you give us the hosting rights," Gumel assured.

Botswana, Senegal, Tunisia and Nigeria are bidding to host the 2022 Youth Olympic Games.

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