By Esther Akaa
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the private sector to collaborate with government at all levels in the development of sports activities in Nigeria for the growth of the country.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, made this call on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the 21st National Sports Festival (NSF), taking place in Asaba, Delta State.
According to him, there was need for the private sector to collaborate with the government and invest massively in sporting activities for peace and progress of citizens of the country.
Buhari explained that his administration was committed to providing equal opportunities to citizens of the country, irrespective of political affiliations, hence the aim of organising the sports festival to provide opportunities to the athletes to enable them compete for medals.
“This event which was introduced after the Civil War as a unifying tool has provided an avenue for participants, especially youths to develop their talents and skills.
“I, therefore, call on participants to build new relationships during the course of the event and put in their best, in order to win medals for their states,” he said.
He commended all stakeholders and the host state for working assiduously and ensuring the success of the event and pray God to grant all their heart desires.
Earlier, the Governor of Delta State, who is also the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the forthcoming general elections, Ifeanyi Okowa, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for the privilege to host this year’s National Sports Festival.
He, congratulated the athletes for making it to the event and urged them not to disappoint, considering the high amount of resources committed by the federal and state governments in promoting unity through sports.
The Voice reports that the 2022 National Sports Festival which began in 1973 is a biennial multi- sport event organised by the FG through the National Sports Commission for athletes from the 36 states and Abuja.
So far, Delta State which is hosting the 21st edition of the sporting activities in Asaba has won 8 medals.