“First, Cross River State has for six years postponed the 19th National Sports Festival and the people at the helm of sports in this country rightly feel that CRS was holding us all to ransome with false promises that never seem to see the light of day. You don’t continue to postpone a sports festival that supports sports development in this country”, a source in the Sports Ministry in Abuja, told us over the phone.
Secondly, in Calabar, our investigations revealed that while a Local Organising Committee may have been put in place by the Ayade administration, the litany of problems that seemingly plagued the state’s hosting of the event were traced back to the Liyel Imoke administration. The eyesore that was to be the indoor sports hall for the festival, standing at the U. J. Esuene stadium, Calabar, for which colossal sums of money were pumped into, could not be completed because a few persons are believed to have pilfered the funds. They are yet to be accosted.
“Even when it looked like the Ayade administration was going to complete the hall, the discovery and scale of funds pilfered discouraged the governor. Sincerely, apart from the indoor sports hall, more than 80% of the venues for events were almost ready. But considering the financial position of our state, we cannot pick the bill for this jamboree”, another source in Calabr who has elected to remain anonymous said.
” See, the contract sum for the stadium hostel was N69m. About 60% of the job has been done while I know that the contractor has only received 44% of the contract sum as mobilisation based on interim payment. This job was awarded in April 2014 and was to house athletes for the sports festival . The left wing of the hostel has 50 en-suite rooms that can generate money to the state government. The right wing can house more than 100 athletes. The contractor now has an overdue Interim Payment Certificate, issued to him since 2014; this is 2018, he has not been paid and I hear his creditors are really disturbing him. Look at the swimming pool contractor, he is in court with the state government for lack of payment”, we further learnt from our source.
Government officials were not available for more comments at press time, but one senior government official promised to furnish us with government’s reaction to the situation.
© 2018, Admin. All rights reserved.