Senior Special Assistant to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Sports, Elder Paul Bassey has applauded the performance of the state representatives to the just concluded 21st National Sports Festival held in Asaba, Delta State.
Bassey who also doubles as the Chairman, Akwa United opined that Team Akwa Ibom gave a good account of themselves and that finishing in the top 10 in the final medals table with 14 Gold, 15 Silver and 33 Bronze medals showed sports have improved considerably under Governor Udom Emmanuel.
He affirmed that with the completion of the ultra modern Swimming pool in Uyo, other states including Delta and Bayelsa States should be on the lookout for Team Akwa Ibom in swimming because the state would work on raising formidable swimmers who can help boost their chances at Ogun 2024 National Sports Festival.
“I am happy and like Oliver Twist, I wish they do more. The infrastructural developments in Akwa Ibom have always helped us but the good news is that they should be on the lookout for us in the next Festival, Bassey told journalists in Asaba.
“We have just completed the building of ultra modern Olympic sized swimming pool because of the Police Games. Swimming is an event they some states have consistently used to ‘deal’ with us but now that we have that facility, you will see a better Akwa Ibom at the next National Sports Festival.”
He downplayed Akwa Ibom chances of hosting the National Sports Festival for now despite the sporting facilities in the state insisting that with a new Government expected to be at the helms in next few months it would be asking for too much committing such gigantic project to the next Governor.
“I cannot say that. It is a policy statement and policy decision. We have got an application from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports. We have to study it. Unfortunately in the next few months the Governor is out of office and there is going to be an incoming Government,” Bassey said.
“We are going to be very careful about commiting ourselves to the next Governor. We will love to host. The Police Games we hosted that just ended gave us the opportunity of developing our infrastructure.
“The issue of hosting the National Sports Festival is a serious business and it has to do with the government taking a decision. It has to do with infrastructure, finance. It is a big thing and I am not in a position to say anything about that.”