Just 12 out of the 36 states of the federation have officially expressed their intention to participate at the 18th National Sports Festival to be hosted by Lagos State from November 27 through December 9, 2012.
This information was part of the communique issued after the 1st Joint Technical Meeting held on Saturday at the Sports bar of the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
The list of states that have already declared interest to be part of Eko 2012 as at Saturday April 21 includes, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo, Rivers and Kogi States.
For some of the sports administrators in attendance at the meeting in Lagos, the slow response by the states could be attributed to the usual last minute rush approach by many Nigerians which needs to be changed.
No cause for alarm
Despite the few states that have responded, Patrick Ekeji, Director General of the National Sports Commission says he is upbeat that other states would soon officially make their intentions known too.
“I am very much confident that all the 36 states of the Federation as well as the FCT will at the long run be in Lagos for the National Sports Festival. I can assure you that in the coming weeks you will see them all declaring their interest,” Mr. Ekeji assured.
Meanwhile, the detailed technical assessment/inspection of the proposed venues and facilities for the Games gave Lagos a pass mark while urging the state to note the observations and recommendations made so as to make the necessary adjustment before the next inspection date.
In his remarks, Wahid Enitan, Commissioner for Sports in Lagos told journalist that the state is more than ready to host the whole federation.
According to him, Eko 2012 will turn out to be the best organised National Sports Festival ever.
He said the state’s experience in hosting big events would help in hosting a successful sports festival.