The 2012 National Sports Festival is firmly on schedule to hold in November.| By Jide Alaka

The Main Organising Committee (MOC) for the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF), tagged Eko 2012, has expressed satisfaction with the level of preparation by Lagos State, after inspecting designated facilities.

Abba Yola, the Secretary General, revealed this after inspecting venues like the Onikan Stadium, Rowe Park Sports Centre and Teslim Balogun Stadium. He said he was satisfied with the level of work being carried out at the venues.

He advised the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to speed up work in all venues, to ensure that the facilities are ready for the festival in November.

?The Onikan Stadium renovations are going on well. The only problem is the pitch and I think they need more hands to remove the weeds that are growing there, so that they can plant the grass and beautify the place,? Yola told reporters.

?Also, removing the weeds is not something that a machine can do, so they need more manpower in removing the weeds.

?Aside from that, I think work there is going on well and the manager has promised that we would get results by the end of the month. We would be getting in touch with the contractor to ensure that more people are employed to do this, so that they can meet up with the timeline.”

He also spoke on renovation works at the Rowe Park in Yaba and Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, which will be the hub of the festival.

?The work at Rowe Park is moving on well because I can see that they have done about 70 percent of the job, and I am particularly impressed with the facilities put in place for the physically challenged athletes that would be taking part in the games,” he said.

?Teslim Balogun Stadium is going on very well and I am quite impressed with the facilities on ground, all they need to do now is make some minor adjustments and the stadium is ready for the games.?

Kweku Tandoh, LOC scribe, assured that the renovation work would be completed as and when due.

?For now I would say we are ready for the festival and we are on course with the timelines both in terms of the infrastructure, venues, and facilities,” Tandoh said.

?So I can say that we are on course and we don?t expect unforeseen challenges that will affect the festival negatively.?

The zonal qualifiers for team events are expected to hold across the 12 centres of the country, to determine teams that will qualify for sports such as basketball, volleyball, handball, football, Abula, etc.

Jide Alaka

Jide, formerly a professional footballer, is now a sports writer.

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