Despite the security and health challenges bedevilling Zamfara State, the governor will still use public funds to sponsor officials to the World Cup, an official has said.
Hundreds of people have been killed by bandits in the state which was also the most affected in recent health crisis that rocked the country, such as meningitis. More than half of the over 400 deaths across Nigeria from meningitis last year occurred in Zamfara.
The poor health situation in the state made the health minister, Isaac Adewole, to recommend to the state governor to build more primary health centres.
On Tuesday, an official confirmed that a five-man delegation is to represent Zamfara Government at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The state Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Skills Acquisition, Abdullahi Gurbin-bore, did not, however, elaborate on how spending scarce state resources on such jamboree would benefit the millions of poor people in the state.
Mr Gurbin-bore spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He told NAN that he would head the delegation, which would include the chairman of the state House of Assembly Committee on Youths and Sports Matters.
According to him, the special adviser to the state governor on sports; director-general, Sports Matters, Zamfara State; and the chairman of the state footballAAssociation are also part of the delegation.
“His Excellency, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Yari, has approved the trip,” he said.
He did not disclose the total cost of the trip to a state battling with security and inadequate funding for key areas like education and healthcare.
The commissioner reiterated the state government’s commitments to developing youths and sports.
Mr Gurbin-bore, also the Chairman of the state Governing Board of the National Youths Service Corps, also said that the state government had re-started payment allowance to corps members serving in the state.
He said that Mr Yari recently restored payment of the allowance.
“The gesture is aimed at complementing federal government’s efforts to improve the welfare of corps members.
“We have finished payment for the month of May.
“Corps medical doctors will be receiving N50,000 monthly, paramedical corps members, N20,000, and others, N5,000,” the official said.