The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has revealed that it is satisfied with the inspection they conducted on the country’s sporting facilities and infrastructure at the Abuja National Stadium and its environs.
This was made known by the leader of the delegation and Associate Director for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games, Mr. Antoine Goetschy, who led the 4-man delegation to pay a courtesy call on the Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung in his office at the National Stadium Abuja on Tuesday.
In his words, Mr Goetschy said: “We visited many of the sports facilities that you can find here in the federal capital. We also saw the very large constructions made in 2003 when you hosted the All Africa Games. We have seen all we need to see and we will build the best reports possible.
“We discussed delegation of responsibility which is division of labour. We need to know who is in charge of what as a general principle. There are some facilities that will need a bit of upgrade and refurbishment or temporary additional facilities like grandstand or lighting and we will like to know how this is provided.
“We saw different options of accommodation for delegations and officials and we need more information on this. Besides this, the involvement of the young people is a key element to make sure the event is delivered for, by and with young people,” he further stated.
In his response to the IOC Delegation, Barrister Dalung reiterated Federal government’s resolve to back the bid to host the 2022 Youth Olympic Games.
Dalung said: “The Federal government will come in with a dedicated budget on an annual basis to put in place some of the major infrastructure, if given the hosting rights. We will also carry the private sector along. We are going to host the National Sports Festival soon so that will be a prelude to some of these facility upgrades.”
In the same vein, the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee Engr Habu Gumel assured the delegation that Nigeria will even be ready to host the games at the shortest notification.
Gumel said: “I want to assure you that Abuja is ready to host the Games. We will give all the facilities and infrastructure a face lift if you give us the rights.”
Botswana, Senegal, Tunisia and Nigeria are the nations bidding to host the 2022 Youth Olympic Games.