Enugu Owe Athletics Zonal Elimination Fees
There is tension in Enugu over the inability of the state government to pay the sum of N100, 000 participatory fees to take part in the Athletics zonal elimination ahead of the National Sports Festival holding in Port Harcourt next year. The competition starts on Wednesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, has Ebonyi and Anambra states participating.
Speaking to Sportsday on Monday, Director (Technical) in the State Sports Council, Innocent Obiekwe, hints that the council was in a fix to raise the participatory fee to take part in the event.
"It’s really surprising that up till now, we have been unable to pay the money. I really don’t think people want sports to grow in this state. I was with the commissioner of Sports, Mathew Iduh this afternoon to know what is happening by virtue of my position in the council but I was shocked to hear that nothing has been done about it," he revealed.
Obiekwe further disclosed that that the State Director of Sports, Livinus Agwu had to go begging some individuals to bail out the council from the disgrace staring on its face.
"It will also be noteworthy that my Director of Sports has been meeting people to beg them to assist in paying the money. The issue is that the council has no money in its coffers for now, if not the money would have been paid long ago without the government knowing."
The technical director also complained of lack of funds to take care of some athletes invited from Kogi state to take part in the competition.
"The most pressing aspect of the whole issue is that there is even no money to take care of some athletes invited from our neighboring Kogi state to compete at the elimination". "I’m really sad about this and I pray that this situation doesn’t continue because it will no small way haunt the state’ preparations for the Sports Festival coming up next year". Already, athletes from Anambra and Ebonyi have arrived for the competition after their states paid the statutory fee.
In another development, Enugu state had refused to pay the sum of N1.2 million which would have given it the right to take part in the 1st Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe U-18 Athletics Championship which ended last weekend in Enugu. Apart from Abia state which doled out N1.4 on its part to ensure a successful hosting of the competition, other Eastern states like Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo also failed in their bid to give boost to the event.