As Delta State prepares to host 2018 Confederation of African Athletics’ [CAA] African Senior Athletics Championship, Sports Minister, Chief Solomon Dalung has inspected the ongoing construction of the Stephen Keshi Stadium, venue of the championship, expressing confidence at the state’s readiness to host the championship.
Speaking after the courtesy/inspection visit to the state, Chief Dalung who was accompanied by the President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau and Former AFN President, Chief Solomon Ogba, said that Delta State is ready to host the championship, stressing that the facilities would be ready on time and the championship would be used to showcase the capacity of Africa to host the world.
He commended Governor Okowa for his support for sports development in the country and the facilities being put in place to host the 2018 CAA Athletics championship, stressing that a successful hosting of the sports tournament would improve the economy, provide employment and engender peace.
“I want to commend Your Excellency for your support to host the CAA Athletics championship, it is a rare demonstration of selfless leadership, Delta State has sprung its normal surprise, what I see here is quite amazing, His Excellency and his officials will be able to deliver on time. The pitch is interesting as they took their time to prepare the laying structure to ensure they have a durable pitch. Governor Okowa deserves commendation”, he said, adding “Africa is using this championship to showcase to the world its capacity to host the world and you are a harbinger for sports development in Africa”.
The minister emphasised that sports engenders peace, unity and economic growth in the country.
Earlier, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who accompanied the Minister on the inspection visit assured that the state is committed to the successful hosting of the championship stressing “we are committed to the success of the 2018 CAA Athletics championship and we are going to offer all the support needed to ensure the successful hosting. Sports is a unifying factor among our people especially in the maintenance of peace and development of the economy”.
He thanked the Minister for the visit, explaining that it would spur the Local Organising Committee to put more efforts towards ensuring the facilities were in place for the championship and urged the private sector to do more to support sports development in the country.