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NCS to meet over 2017 Sports Festival, says Dalung

Solomon Dalung, Minister of Youth and Sport.

Solomon Dalung, Minister of Youth and Sport.

Programme captured in national budget

The National Council on Sports will soon meet to decide the venue and date of the oft-postponed National Sports Festival, which Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, insists will hold this year.

Dalung said in Makurdi during a dialogue engagement programme with Benue youths that the National Sports Festival is one of the major events in the country’s calendar this year.

The minister, who is on a two-day working visit to Benue State, revealed that adequate budgetary provision for the festival was included in the 2017 annual budget.

During the dialogue, Dalung decried societal deep-seated neglect of the youth, particularly the lack of political will to involve them in governance and key sectors of the economy. He called for deliberate efforts to yield space to the youth if truly they were the leaders of tomorrow.

He once again challenged state governors to channel a quarter of their national security votes to youth and sports development as panacea for the frightening youth unemployment confronting Nigeria, saying it has security implications to the desired peace and wellbeing of the nation.

He also urged the youth to do away with self-destructive anti-social behaviours, squabbles and petty divisions, saying such actions have fractured the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) into a body with six presidents.

He also condemned the get-rich-quick syndrome, which, he said, has made it easy for youths to be recruited at a price by unscrupulous elites and politicians.

The youth on their part advocated for the establishment of a National Youth Center in Abuja and its state chapters in all state capitals of the federation to “galvanize the collective spirit and activities of youth.” They also called for massive deployment of resources to skill acquisition schemes, entrepreneurship training and sports development.

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