Written by Austine ELEMUE

Sports festival will put Abuja on global tourism map - Bello

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello, has disclosed that the FCT Administration will use the opportunity of the 19th National Sports Festival to put Abuja on the global map of sports tourism and to attract investment and economic development. 

The minister made this known during a press briefing on the festival scheduled to hold in Abuja from December 6 to December 16, 2018.

He said the FCTA is committed to developing a sporting brand like other major cities of the world, adding that the current investment in infrastructure, rail transportation and public utilities are geared towards making the city attractive for these purposes. 

While describing sports as one of the three major pillars of national unity, including the National Youth Service Corps, Bello, said that the FCTA in promoting the ideals that unite the country together, rose to the occasion to revive the National Sports Festival that had been in limbo for the past 6 years. 

He also said the FCT as co-host has been assigned a portfolio of four critical sub-committees, namely-opening and closing ceremonies sub-committees, as well as security and transportation out of the 17 sub-committees that constitute the main organizing committee.

Bello added that the FCT, beyond its role as anchor to the LOC, would be rolling out 470 athletes and officials who would be competing in over 27 events, adding that both closed and open camps have been held for the athletes. 

“Our objective is also not only to host but to showcase Nigeria at its best and come tops in the competitions,” he stated.

In his own remarks at the occasion, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Solomon Dalung, said the federal government in realizing the damage that the unending postponements of the festival portends for sports development in Nigeria, accepted the resolution of the National Council on Sports to take over the organization and hosting of the Games in 2018 with Abuja as the host city. 

 

Bello wants FRSC to declare ‘2019 year of road behavioral change’

Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has called on the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, to declare 2019 as the year of road behavioral change, as a way of ensuring safety on roads. 

Bello, who made the call at the commissioning of the FRSC signage plant in Gwagwalada, Abuja, said statistics have shown that most accidents on the road were caused by human factor. 

He stressed the need for the commission to intensify its public enlightenment campaigns to educate Nigerians on the need to obey traffic signs no matter where they were situated. 

 

The minister used the occasion to solicit for an increase in the budgetary allocation to the commission to enable it carry out the needed massive public enlightenment to achieve the objective. 

“There is every need for you to embark on a public enlightenment campaign to change the behavior of the public towards roads signage because at the end of the day, no matter how many, how strategically placed and how beautiful the signs are, they will be useless if the public still disobey the traffic signs”, he said. 

Bello said the FCT Administration is even more delighted because it hopes to patronise the plant in its ongoing plan to mount proper signage on all major roads and transportation infrastructure in the FCT, adding that in a few weeks’ time, a significant transformation of roads, with proper gantries and directional signs, would be noticed in the FCT. 

Commissioning the signage plant, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, said the building of the plant was to improve the quality of Nigerians motoring culture and providing safe roads in the country. 

He said the effort of the FRSC underscores the importance that the federal government places on ensuring proper road signs and guides that will make Nigeria highways safer for all. 

In a brief remark, the Corps Marshal of FRSC, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, assured that the signage plant was designed to meet the nation’s road sign needs. 

He said already 6000 various road signs have been produced and placed at different road locations across the country. 

 

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