The Cross River State Government has cried out to the Federal Government to assist it with intervention funds to host the National Sports Festival which has suffered several postponements.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Prof Ivara Esu made the plea when he visited the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung in his office in Abuja at the weekend.
Prof Esu noted that the previous state government had set up a team of consultants to market the festival which they did but that so much money had been sunk into the renovation and building of new infrastructure which are between 60% to 85% complete.
“We have been preparing for this National Sports Festival since the last one in 2012. The government before us had set up a team of consultants to raise funds for the games. I am sure that when they hear about the Festival coming alive, they will come back for re-engagement.
“So much money has already been sunk into building of infrastructure and facilities for this games. Some of the facilities are 100% complete while some are between 65 to 85% ready. We have considered various ways in which we could cut our coat according to our cloth but these infrastructure need to be completed.
“I also know the kind of money we are looking for is not in the budget of 2017. We are not passing the entire budget to the federal government. We only need help to complete the facilities and we need help with 60% of the costing we have presented to complete the project. I know that Mr President and the Minister have contacts that we can leverage on to raise funds. We have made efforts to raise the funds but we have assessed that at no time will we be able to raise more than 40% of the funds needed. Certainly, we can’t get money even from our federal allocation. We are number 35 out of the 36 states so if we can’t get the remaining funds, we will not be able to host this games” the Deputy governor said.